Research Interests


My research concerns the nature of knowledge, how we create it, convey it, represent it. As a computer scientist I am particularly concerned with what can and cannot be represented in computer systems and what the limits and possibilities are. Most of my research up to now has been a contribution to Web Science, which is the science of decentralised information system, expressed currently most actively in Semantic Web technologies (ontologies, OWL, SKOS, RDF, microformats, etc.) and related developments such as Web 2.0. From a practical perspective the research areas that interest me currently are:

Food and Agriculture

The interaction of ICT in general and Food and Agriculture is a major interest of mine. The agrifood sector has historically used relatively little computer technology but this is now growing. The kind of questions that interest me concern what the opportunities and challenges are with using a greater range of ICT in agrifood. How does this benefit farmers, and society more widely? What are the limitations or unintended consequences of the wider uptake of ICT? Topics that interest me include:

Society and Sustainability

Knowledge affects the decisions people make in everyday life and in organisations. I am interested in how to make more knowledge available, the right sort of knowledge so that people can make appropriate decisions concerning the environmental, societal and ethical impact of the choices. Historically people have used price exclusively as the criterion for purchasing decision. We now have an an opportunity, using current ICT and advanced knowledge representation methods, to provide a much 'fatter pipe' of knowledge so as to enable rather different decisions to be made which are conscious of the environment and the world around us. Fundamentally:

For current and past research projects, please consult my projects page.