Anders Kristian Munk is an associate Professor at Aalborg University Copenhagen. He co-directs the Techno Anthropological Research Lab with Anders Koed Madsen and Andreas Birkbak. He is also a project coordinator at Public Data Lab.
Anders Kristian Munk
At kortlægge og at bruge kort: Synliggørelse af forskelle og relationer.
Written with Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen.
Data-Sprinting: A Public Approach to Digital Research.
This chapter is about the politics of interdisciplinarity. Not in the sense of the research politics fostering collaboration across disciplines, but in the stronger sense of transcending disciplinary boundaries to make significant political contributions. In short: it is about making research public. To address this question, this chapter introduces (through a concrete example in climate debate research) an original research format, that we call data-sprinting
Forthcoming book chapter
Digital methods contributions to citizen hearings : A techno-anthropological approach to Twitter and technology assessment. Written with Anders Koed and Anders Kristian Munk. Published in Techno-Anthropological Contributions to Technology Assessment. ed. / Lars Botin; Tom Børsen. Aalborg Universitetsforlag, 2019.
Whack-a-mole: En undersøgelse af falske nyheder og deres økosystemer
Vi argumenterer for, at falske nyheder skal forstås og undersøges empirisk i deres naturlige habitat. Falske nyheder bør ikke blot håndteres som et spil whack-a-mole, hvor formålet er at slå det falske ned, hver gang det dukker op, som var det et muldvarpehoved i en spilleautomat, men derimod at forsøge at forstå de gange, muldvarpen graver.
Written with Daniel Bach, Anders Grundtvig, Ronja Ingeborg Lofstad, Asbjørn Fleinert Mathiasen, Asger Gehrt Olesen, Andreas Birkbak and Anders Koed Madsen.
Why did you join the lab?
I spend time with the lab because, in today’s academic world, both students and researchers need a space to be playful and take risks. We try out tons of things here that may never work. Our student collaborators are neither graded nor do they earn ECTS credit. They are here for the experience and participate because they want to learn. Our external partners – public as well as private – are not promised off-the-shelf solutions or deliverables. They get on board because they know that the problems they face require experimentation. For me, that adds up to an interesting work environment.
What do you do at the lab?
I like to use the lab to organize data-sprints. Since I am interested in digital methods, I need a place where I can bring together people with interesting research questions, people with a good grasp of datasets and methods, and people with the technical ability to operationalize whatever ideas emerge from that meeting. I am also the ‘lab-director’, which effectively means that I work with our student assistant to facilitate daily life at the lab. All our researchers and student collaborators are their own bosses, however, and essentially do what they want. It is very much a coalition of the willing where the people who want to take the lead get to decide the agenda. My role is to support that.
How did you get to call yourself a techno-anthropologist?
When I was 20 I decided to study European Ethnology because I was fascinated by the deep-seated cultural differences that still riddle the European continent. I had no interest what so ever in technology. By the time I got my masters degree, however, I felt convinced that culture was impossible to separate from its material circumstances. I had written my thesis on the notion of terroir in the French wine industry, a field where geology, sociology and technology are almost inseparable from one another. I went on to write a PhD on flood risk management at the University of Oxford and decided that to do field work with insurance professionals I needed to become a flood modeler myself. So I took courses, studied hydrology, and became certified on one of the computer models they used. By that time I would have called myself a techno-anthropologist if I had known the term existed. Today I have the added dimension of being interested in data-intensive methods for the social sciences, particularly in controversy mapping, and that feels quite techno-anthropological indeed. My objects of study are techno-scientific controversies and the methods I play with simultaneously require technical know-how and a constant grounding in ethnographic and other qualitative sensibilities.
The Techno-Anthropology (TANT) group researches key processes of social and technical innovation that are critical to the challenges facing contemporary and future societies. Complicated societal issues are unlikely to be solved by technical fixes. We therefore believe that workable solutions and a responsible development of technology must build on the active consideration of social relations, the engagement of users, and an in-depth understanding of the complexities of technology-in-use.
The Department of Learning and Philosophy operates on an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty basis. The mission of the Department is to do research, development and teaching in the areas of education, learning and philosophy, within the educational system as well as in public and private organisations.