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Prof Shaun Lawson

Professor of Social Computing and Head of Department of Computer and Information Sciences

Department: Computer and Information Sciences

Shaun joined Northumbria University in November 2015 after leaving the University of Lincoln where he led the Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) Research Centre for a number of years.

Shuan -lawson

After doing a postdoc at the University of Surrey, he took up his first academic post at in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University in 2000. In 2005 he moved to Lincoln first as a Senior Lecturer, then Reader and he was appointed the UK’s first Professor in social computing in 2011.

His research primarily explores the use and significance of social media, and other digital services, in people’s lives and he has conducted applied work in areas such as health and wellbeing, politics and activism, and sustainability. His current focus is on the convergence of broadcast and social media in political and societal context and on how technology is used is support mental health, wellbeing and social support and cohesion.

He has held grants totalling over £2million in the past 5 years from funders such as EPSRC, ESRC, the EU and Microsoft Research and is the author, or co-author, of over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

He was Chair of British HCI 2015 and is the founding chair of the UK’s SIGCHI chapter.

Campus Address

Room 215
Pandon Building

+44 (0)191 2273944


Ph.D. (1996) Mechanical Engineering, University of Surrey

B.Eng. (Hons) (1990) Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Newcastle University

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Social Computing, Human Computer Interaction, Social Media, Digital Healthcare.

Professional Activity

Member of EPSRC and ESRC Peer Review Colleges. General Chair British HCI 2015. Organising Committee Member ACM CHI 2014-2015 (WiP co-Chair). General Chair, Third International Conference on Social Computing and its Applications (SCA’2013), Karlsruhe, Sept 2013. Programme Chair for SCA (Social Computing and its Applications) 2011 (Sydney, Dec 2011) Assessor for Italian Research Assessment Exercise (National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities & Research Institutes (ANVUR); VQR 2004-2010). Reviewer for EPSRC, ESRC, EU ICT FP7, Leverhulme Trust, Canadian, Italian and Swiss National Research Councils, UK NIHR/NHS programmes.

Current/Recent Projects

2014-2017 – ESRC Grant ES/M003574/1 £790,953.76 “CuRAtOR: Challenging online feaR And OtheRing” (Principal Investigator)

2014-2016 –EPSRC Grant EP/M000206/1 £168,382 “EPSRC - NIHR HTC Partnership Award: Social Computing and Mental Health Research Network” ” (Principal Investigator)

2014-2017 – ESRC Grant EP/M003558/1 “Loneliness in the Digital Age (LIDA)” (Co-investigator)

2015 – 2019 – EPSRC Next Stage Digital Economy Centre EP/M023001/1 “DERC” (Co-investigator)

2010-2013 –EPSRC Grant EP/I000615/1, £463,840 “ENACT: Exploiting social Networks to Augment Cognitive behavioural Therapy”. (Principal Investigator)

Key Publications

Lawson, S., Kirman, B., Linehan, C., Feltwell, T., & Hopkins, L. (2015). Problematising upstream technology through speculative design: the case of quantified cats and dogs. In ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Brooker, P., Vines, J., Sutton, S., Barnett, J., Feltwell, T., & Lawson, S. (2015). Debating Poverty Porn on Twitter: Social Media as a Place for Everyday Socio-Political Talk. In ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Lawson, S., Jamison-Powell, S., Garbett, A, Linehan, C., Kucharczyk, E, Verbaan, S., Rowland, D, Morgan K. (2013) Validating a Mobile Phone Application for the Everyday, Unobtrusive, Objective Measurement of Sleep. In ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Kirman, B., Linehan, C. and Lawson, S (2012) Blowtooth: A Provocative Pervasive Game for Smuggling Virtual Drugs through Real Airport Security. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing: Volume 16, Issue 6 (2012), Page 767-775. Springer.

Jamison-Powell, S., Linehan, C., Daley, L., Garbett, A., Lawson, S (2012) I can't get no sleep: discussing #insomnia on twitter. Proceedings of 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012) pp. 1501-1510. ACM.

Thieme, A., Comber, R., Miebach, J., Weeden, J., Kraemer, N., Lawson, S., Olivier. P. (2012) We've bin watching you: designing for reflection and social persuasion to promote sustainable lifestyles, Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012) pp. 2337-2346. ACM Press.

My Google Scholar page can be viewed here

My Northumbria Research Link can be viewed here


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