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[liberationtech] Nancy Baym, Kate Crawford, Mary L. Gray to Join Microsoft Research

Yosem Companys companys at
Thu Jan 12 10:22:59 PST 2012


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: danah boyd <danah-asa at>
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Many of you have asked me whether or not Microsoft Research was truly
intending to invest in social media / internet studies.  With this in mind,
I have fantastically awesome news to share: Nancy Baym, Kate Crawford, and
Mary L. Gray are all joining Microsoft Research.  MSR will continue to
invest in postdocs, PhD internships, and visitors with the hope of
supporting social scientists who are asking critical socio-technical
questions about the rise of new technologies.

In short, I'm sooo soooo sooooooo excited.  <GRIN>  w0000t!!!!

My Blog Post:

"Nancy Baym, Kate Crawford, Mary L. Gray to Join Microsoft Research"

::bounce:: I am *ecstatic* to announce that Nancy Baym, Kate Crawford, and
Mary L. Gray are all joining Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge,
MA. See Jennifer Chayes' announcement:

Three years ago (this week), I joined Microsoft Research to help integrate
social scientists and computer scientists.  I have known about and admired
MSR since my undergraduate days when I was studying computer science.  From
the perspective of a researcher, it seemed like heaven-on-earth.  As I
slowly shifted disciplines, I was saddened to think that I had moved myself
away from MSR so I was utterly delighted when, in 2008, I learned that
Jennifer Chayes wanted to start a lab that brought computer scientists and
social scientists together in new ways.  I was even more ecstatic when she
invited me to help with this endeavor.  Over the last three years, I've
invited numerous scholars to come to MSR as visitors, postdocs, and
interns.  In particular, I've focused on bringing in social scientists from
fields that haven't commonly been in conversation with industrial
researchers.  This loose network of folks have come to be known as the
"Social Media Collective." Much to my absolute pleasure, Nancy, Kate, and
Mary are going to come to MSR to join the Collective.

The Social Media Collective focuses on research related to socio-technical
issues, primarily from a social scientific perspective.  Most of us use
qualitative research methods, but there are also quantitative,
computational, and experimental folks among us.  We primarily look at
topics related to the rise of social media, but we do so from a variety of
different disciplinary lenses.  Our work tends to have implications for a
wide array of audiences: scholarly, technical, policy, business, and
public.  Nancy, Kate, and Mary are three of the leading scholars in this
arena and I'm ecstatic that they'll be coming to MSR to advance this line
of inquiry.

- Nancy Baym is a communication scholar, currently at University of Kansas.
 She helped define the field of internet studies with her work on personal
connections, fandom, and online communities.

- Kate Crawford is a media studies scholar, currently at the University of
New South Wales. She weaves together a diverse set of interests to examine
mobile media, intimacy, and listening, with an eye towards public policy

- Mary L. Gray is an anthropologist, currently at Indiana University. Her
work on rural queer youth has helped complicate our understandings of
marginalized populations' use of technology.

Each of these phenomenal scholars has a long history of helping us
understand the relationship between technology and society and I'm sooo
soooo soooo excited that they're coming to MSR.  As all of you who know me
know, I love MSR.  I also love Nancy, Kate, and Mary.  So the combination
makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.

MSR is a truly special place: an interdisciplinary home base for folks who
are interested in studying issues related to technology.  I still remember
the day that Nancy, Kate, and Mary came back from talking to a group of
computer scientists and mathematicians about the very meaning of
"communication."  Needless to say, social scientists don't use that term in
the same way as mathematicians.  But instead of being horrified, these
three were glowing because they ended up diving deep into the kind of
intense conversations that only scholars relish.  That's when I knew that
MSR was the place for them.

Microsoft Research is so lucky that Nancy, Kate, and Mary are coming to
MSR.  And I'm super lucky that I'm going to have three more awesome
colleagues. ::bounce::


"taken out of context, i must seem so strange" -- ani
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