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  • Writer's pictureSCOTLIN

(En)lightening talk with Professor Abbe Brown, University of Aberdeen

SCOTLIN is delighted to announce another seminar from the (En)lightening Talks series. On 2 December 2022, h. 10:00, Professor Abbe Brown, University of Aberdeen, will hold a presentation as part of our series of (en)lightening talks on: “Clashing forms of regulation and rights”.

Discussant: Professor Caroline NcCube, University of Cape Town

This event is held on Zoom.


Technology and data can bring opportunities for increased societal benefits such as in relation to environmental sustainability, health and energy. There is also the potential for a clash between regimes which aim to deliver, say, a response to climate change though technology, with the outcomes which are dictated if one looks only to information control and IP laws. A recent example has been seen in relation to intellectual property, human rights and health in relation to COVID-19.

The potential for these clashes is frequently ignored when regimes have been set up to address societal challenges. This presentation will explore some different regimes, with different goals, which have a common theme of not engaging directly with all, or some, of the relevant technology and data regimes. The presentation will explore the possible impact of this on the delivery of and potential challenges to the new regimes and their goals.

The presentation will introduce the approaches to data and technology in a UK framework based on the grant of an oil and gas licence by a public body and the risk of the licence’s removal if particular approaches are not taken to data; a Scottish panel to grant access to data for re-use in health and social care research; a developing new international regime in relation to marine biodiversity, benefit sharing and technology transfer; and approaches in Scotland and in England to private or public ownership and licensing of soil and environmental data, including those funded by research councils. The presentation is made at the start of a project to further interrogate the drivers for particular structural approaches having been pursued, including through empirical qualitative research. It will explore how different regimes have addressed or engaged at all with approaches to different values (such as encouraging sharing or a focus on private reward) which can be relevant to the wider goal pursued.

The project will develop new theoretical approaches and practical paths which could be applied, at national and international level, substantively and structurally, to regimes which address key societal challenges using data and technology in a more holistic and plural manner. The proposals will enable decision makers - irrespective of subject matter or starting point - to take a wide view of relevance, to engage widely with stakeholders and experts and to see nothing as unchallengeable or as the responsibility of another regime.

Participation is free, but registration is mandatory. You can register here.

Abbe Brown
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