British Academy Symposium: Information Technology and Scholarly Disciplines

Seamus Ross provides the programme for a symposium which seeks to explore how information technology has affected research in the humanities and social sciences.

The aim of the symposium is to explore how information technology has affected research in the humanities and social sciences, particularly in terms of the topics chosen and the way they are are approached -- in other words, whether there has been a paradigm shift, and, if so, what its characteristics are. This question will be examined by reference to research in individual disciplines, particularly as illustrated by the work of each speaker.

A timetable follows. Each contribution will be given a slot of 45 minutes, of which 30 minutes only is intended for the main presentation: the remaining time will be for comment, questions and discussion.

Because of the size of the conference rooms available, numbers are limited, and places will be assigned according to the principle 'first come, first served'. Preference will be given to those who wish to attend both days. The cost is £30 for the two days, to include tea, coffee, lunch with wine each day, as well as a reception on Friday evening. A daily rate of £20 is available. There are, incidentally, a number of places reserved for 20 graduate students at the reduced charge of £20 for two days (or £15 per day).

Enquiries and applications for places, including cheques made payable to the British Academy, should be sent to Rosemary Lambeth at the British Academy, 20-21 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP


British Academy Symposium: Information Technology and Scholarly Disciplines
Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October 1996


  • 9.30 am Opening remarks: Professor Terry Coppock, FBA, Carnegie Trust
  • 9.40 am Sir Anthony Kenny, FBA (University of Oxford): Information Technology in the Humanities
  • 10.10 am Professor S Shennan (University of Southampton): Information Technology in Archaeology: lively but irrelevant?
    Commentator: Professor Richard Bradley, FBA (University of Reading)
  • 10.50 am Dr M D Fischer (University of Kent at Canterbury): Computer-aided visual anthropology in the field
    Commentator: Dr M.T. Bravo (University of Manchester)
  • 11.50 am Professor William Vaughan (Birkbeck College, University of London) History of Art and the digital image
    Commentator: Professor E C Fernie (Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • 12.30 pm Dr Alan Marsden (Queen's University, Belfast): Computers and the concept of tonality
    Commentator: Dr Ian Cross (University of Cambridge)
  • 2.15 pm Professor R Susskind (Visiting Fellow, University of Strathclyde) Information technology and legal research
    Commentator: Professor D.N. MacCormick, FBA (University of Edinburgh)
  • 3.00 pm Ms Holly Sutherland (University of Cambridge): Information technology and the development of economic policy
    Commentator: Mr Guy Judge (University of Portsmouth)
  • 3.45 pm Professor S Openshaw (University of Leeds): Supercomputing in geographical research
    Commentator: Dr Andrew D. Cliff, FBA (University of Cambridge)
  • 5.00 pm Professor Richard Beacham (University of Warwick):'Eke out our performance with your mind': Reconstructing the theatrical past with the aid of computer simulation
    Commentator: Professor M.A. Twycross (University of Lancaster)
  • 5.45 Dr Seamus Ross (British Academy): Preservation and networking in aid of research
    Commentator: Dr Edward Higgs (University of Exeter)


  • 9.45 am Professor A G Wilson, FBA (University of Leeds): Information technology and the Social Science.
  • 10.15 am Dr R M Smith, FBA (Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure): Simulating the Past: CAMSIM and its application in demographic and family history
    Commentator: Professor Richard Blundell (University College London)
  • 11.30 am Professor G N Gilbert (University of Surrey): The simulation of social processes
    Commentator: Dr Anthony Heath, FBA (Nuffield College, Oxford)
  • 12.15pm Professor R J Morris (University of Edinburgh): Information technology and social history: case studies of a subtle paradigm shift
    Commentator: Dr Steven Smith (Institute of Historical Research)
  • 2.15 pm Professor J-P Genet (Sorbonne, Paris): Cultural history with a computer: measuring dynamics
    Commentator: Dr Andrew Prescott (British Library)
  • 3.00 pm Professor Roger Bagnall (Columbia University): Information Technology and the Renewal of Classical Studies
  • 4.15 pm Dr Anne Anderson (University of Glasgow): Information technology and psychology: from cognitive psychology to cognitive engineering
    Commentator: Dr Charles Crook (Loughborough University)
  • 5.00 Dr K I B Sparck Jones, FBA (University of Cambridge): How much has information technology contributed to linguistics?
    Commentator: Dr Henry Thompson (University of Edinburgh)
  • 6.00 Symposium ends
Date published: 
Thursday, 19 September 1996
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