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I am a senior researcher in Ethics and Data at the Ethox Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Technology, University of Oxford. I trained in philosophy and qualitative research methods and my research focuses on the ethical aspects of the increasing introduction of IT (online portals, wearable sensors, mobile apps) in care pathways, individual health practices, and biomedical research. More recently, together with Gabby Samuel I have developed a research programme that explores ethical and governance issues related to the environmental sustainability of Big Data initiatives, digital technologies and AI and we received a British Academy/Leverhulme grant to conduct an exploratory study on “digital sustainability”. Outside of PARIS-DE, I have been part of the RADAR-AD project aiming at identifying and validating digital biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease where I investigated the ethical issues arising in this type of research. I also led the Italian arm of the Solidarity in Pandemic project, a large qualitative comparative and longitudinal study comprising nine countries in Europe. Finally, I am the director of the Big Data Ethics Forum, a bi-monthly forum where scientists working with big data are invited to talk about the ethical challenges they encounter in their research.

My role on the team

I am a co-investigator of PARIS-DE, leading the workpackage aiming to develop the Digital Sustainability Framework. The overall goal of this WP is to define our systemic sustainability framework pulling together the three perspectives of an evidence base, socio-technical design and responsible innovation. I will bring my expertise in the analysis of ethical and social issues of digital technologies to design and conduct a series of internal workshops and in-depth discussions with relevant stakeholders.

Why I wanted to join the team

In 2017 I started researching the environmental impact of Big Data and I was surprised to see that this issue was largely neglected in the literature on ethics of Big Data and Information and Communication Technologies.  In May 2020, together with Gabby Samuel, I co-organised a workshop Digital pollution: environmental sustainability of the digital revolution where we invited an interdisciplinary group of scholars, including Gordon Blair and Marina Jirotka. In the discussions we had during and after the workshop, it became clear that an interdisciplinary and participatory approach is needed in order to develop a governance framework to address this issue. This is where the seeds for PARIS-DE were planted.