Robin Williams (academic)

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Robin A Williams
Born 1952
Institutions University of Edinburgh
Alma mater Cambridge University

Robin A Williams (born 1952) is a Professor of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and director of the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation. He is an interdisciplinary researcher in the field of Science and Technology Studies and contributed much to the social shaping of technology by studying the interplay between 'social' and 'technical' factors in the design and implementation of a range of technologies.[1]

Biography[edit]

After gaining his PhD at Aston University in 1984, Robin Williams remained as a research fellow in the Technology Policy Unit for another 6 years. In 1986 he joined the Research Centre for Social Sciences (RCSS) at the University of Edinburgh and coordinated the Edinburgh PICT Centre, one of the six university research centres established under the ESRC Programme on Information and Communications Technologies (1986 - 1995).[2] During this time Robin Williams and other researchers in Edinburgh PICT Centre published on issues regarding social, economic and political aspects of the design and implementation of technology.[3] Concluding the findings of a decade's research Robin Williams and David Edge published a notable paper on the ‘broad church’ of social shaping of technology.[4] He became director of RCSS in 1997.

In 2001 Robin Williams established the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) to bring together groups of academics and individual researchers across the University of Edinburgh who are involved in research, teaching and knowledge transfer on social and policy aspects of science, technology and innovation.[5] He also was a director of SUPRA (Scottish Universities Policy Research and Advice Network) [6] and is currently co-director of ESRC Innogen Centre.[7]

Professor Williams established institutional links to and between research centres and institutions throughout the UK, Europe and Asia. His various involvements included chairing the UK Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology (AsSIST),[8] being representative of Britain on the COST A4 European Research Collaboration initiative on the Social Shaping of Technology[9] and coordinator of the China-EU Information Technology Standards Research Project (2008-2010).[10]

Books[edit]

  • Software and Organisations: The Biography of the Enterprise-Wide System - Or how SAP Conquered the World (2009), Routledge, with Neil Pollock
  • Social Learning in Technological Innovation: Experimenting with Information and Communication Technologies, (2005), Edward Elgar, with James Stewart and Roger Slack.
  • Shaping Technology, Guiding Policy: Concepts, Spaces and Tools, (2002) Edward Elgar, co-edited with Knut H. Sørensen
  • Policies for Cleaner Technology: A New Agenda for Government and Industry (1999), Earthscan, with Antony Clayton and Graham Spinardi.
  • Exploring Expertise, (1998) Macmillan, co-edited with Wendy Faulkner and Jamie Fleck,
  • The Social Shaping of Information Superhighways: European and American Roads to the Information Society (1997), Campus Verlag, co-edited with Herbert Kubicek and William Dutton.
  • Expertise and innovation: Information technology strategies in the financial services sector (1994), Clarendon Press, Oxford, with Fincham, Fleck, Proctor, Scarbrough and Tierney.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Staff Profiles". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Melody, William H (1987). "Innovative research in support of more informed decision making", Aslib Proceedings, 39(6)
  3. ^ PICT Report (1994). "Edinburgh PICT Centre 1987-1994 End of Award Report", University of Edinburgh
  4. ^ Williams, Robin, and David Edge (1996). "The social shaping of technology", Research policy, 25(6)
  5. ^ "ISSTI - About the Institute". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "SUPRA (Scottish Universities Policy Research and Advice Network)". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Innogen". Genomicsnetwork. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "AsSIST Home Page". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "RCSS Home Page". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "China - European Union Standards". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 November 2012.