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CDCS Annual Report 21-22




Welcome to the third annual report from the Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society (CDCS), drawing together the range of activities we’ve been up to during the last year, since May 2021. Although the CDCS team has continued to grapple with the twists and turns of the pandemic, we’ve got a lot to celebrate from the past three years, and I’m proud of the hard work, and agile efforts, that have gone into supporting researchers across the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Edinburgh with data-led approaches to both research and teaching. 

Highlights of this year include our multifarious and well-attended seminar series, featuring a range of fascinating international speakers, and our second annual lecture, given by Dr Keolu Fox from the Indigenous Futures Lab at the University of California, San Diego. We’ll be organising our next annual lecture soon (and would always welcome suggestions of speakers). We’ve also trained hundreds of staff and students in specific digital research methods, and hosted our first summer school, which will be repeated and expanded this summer. We’ve supported various small research grants, and work by PhD students, helping university members navigate the fairly complex and diverse support structures on offer at Edinburgh. We’ve launched our first Digital Research Prizes, and are looking forward to learning more about the questions our communities have been posing, the methods used, and the results that have emerged. We’re doing more and more with the Edinburgh Futures Institute team, and are looking forward to the year ahead when we should start to think about moving into the Old Royal Infirmary building in real life.

CDCS is about community, and as we all continue to figure out what a post-covid, hybrid-working university looks like, we aim to support staff and students in data-led approaches to research. If we can be of help at all, please be in touch, and we look forward to the positive outcomes that will no doubt emerge from our networks over the next year.

Professor Melissa Terras, Director


This report is available below in PDF format.

While we have made every effort to make this document accessible, it performs best in a screen reader using manual controls.



Our online events programme continues to attract attention and participation from around the world. 


We've successfully delivered our first summer school, as well as new courses and resources.


With two new clusters launching this year, the CDCS community continues to grow.


We've been focusing our support on key growth areas and communities.


We've helped our researchers to adapt to digital methods.


Metrics and measures that represent our year.

7. Digital Research Prizes

We're celebrating all the amazing research that goes on in our community.

8. three years of CDCS

We've been looking back at all the cool things that have happened since our launch in 2019.


This range of activity is not possible without the hard work of a great team, and in particular I’d like to thank the CDCS centre manager Dr Lisa Otty for expertly steering this shape-shifting ship across changeable seas. Dr Lucia Michielin has rapidly brought the training programme up to speed, liaising with many tutors who are paid to deliver specific training from across the University of Edinburgh. Our centre administrators, Cathy Naughton and Róisín O’Brien, helped grow our online presence while also working the levers behind the scenes to provide high production values on our many, many events. Cathy and Róisín have now progressed to other, more senior, roles, and we are pleased to have supported them in their career development. CDCS has recently been joined by administrative assistant Likando Kumoyo, and we’re looking forward to benefitting from the wealth of ideas she brings.

Throughout the last three years we have benefitted from the support, insight and encouragement of Professor Dorothy Miell, the Chair of our Steering Group, who steps down this year: we wish her all the best going forward. We thank the Core Team of CDCS for providing input from across CAHSS, Library and University Collections, and Information Services: we are dependent on these networks to support the wider community. Ann Harrison from the Digital Innovation Team has continued to supply us with punchy and intelligent graphic design, and we’re proud to showcase this here. EFI itself has given us support, particularly for the summer school, and this link is continuing to grow.

cupcakes with brightly coloured icing

Cite this document: Centre for Data, Culture & Society Annual Report 21/22. (May 2022) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh: Edinburgh.

DOI: HTTP://DX.DOI.ORG/10.5281/zenodo.6539041