Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Jo Pierson


Personal Description

Digital media and technologies in all forms are seeping deeply into society and in our personal lives. In order to safeguard and enhance public values and a good society, we need be aware of the impact these data driven technologies have. That is why I am driven to do socio-technical research and teaching on these issues. The latter is based on my expertise in design, usage, datafication and commodification of media technologies. Drawing upon media and communication studies, in combination with science and technology studies, my interdisciplinary research focus is on data, privacy, trust, domestication and user empowerment.

I am Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium (Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences & Solvay Business School). In addition I am holding a PhD in Social Science since 2003, while being part of SMIT since 1996. In the past I have worked as researcher-advisor for the Dutch knowledge institute TNO in Delft. In my current position I am in charge of the research unit ‘Privacy, Ethics & Literacy’, in close cooperation with imec (R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology). My lecturing includes undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Hasselt University and University of Amsterdam, covering socio-technical issues of digital media design and use. I am also elected member of the International Council of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).