Congratulations to Sebastián, CGHR’s Postdoctoral Scholar, on His New Appointment!

Many congratulations to our Postdoctoral Scholar, Dr Sebastián Lehuedé! Very soon, Sebastián will be joining the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, as a Lecturer in Ethics, AI and Society. In his two years here, Sebastián energised us, conducted original research and organised inspiring events. Do join the CGHR-hosted talk he will be delivering on AI and the environment (more information below).

Sebastián’ contribution was crucial for fulfilling CGHR’s mission. He co-authored the recently launched Provocations project on Medium along with Co-Directors Dr Ella McPherson and Dr Sharath Srinivasan, and provided valuable input for the Tech for the Pluriverse card game. Sebastián also convened two relevant events at CGHR. With funding from the Alan Turing Institute, he co-organised the CGHR-hosted bilingual Data Territories series of talks in 2022, which brought together data centre activists and researchers from different regions of the world. This Summer, Sebastián also organised the CGHR-hosted Critical Data Research in Praxis event, which included a panel discussion with recognised voices in the field and a group activity run by PhD researchers. At CGHR, Sebastián convened the student-run Declarations podcast on human rights.

Photo taken at an open workshop Sebastián co-organised with digital and environmental rights activists in Santiago, Chile, in April 2022.

More broadly, Sebastián’s research allowed CGHR to get involved in relevant debates about the social and environmental impact of digital technologies from a global perspective. Supported by CGHR, last year he conducted fieldwork in Latin America and initiated an original research project that identified new forms of resistance against the environmental damage brought about by Artificial Intelligence. Sebastián published articles on themes such as Indigenous data infrastructure and global data frictionsco-edited a Special Volume and joined relevant conferences such as the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).

Sebastián organised the CGHR-hosted Critical Data Research in Praxis event, which took place on 12 June. In the photo: Dr Ella McPherson (CGHR co-director) and speakers Prof. Mirca MadianouProf. Nick CouldryDr Andrea Medradoand Prof. Ulises Mejias.

In line with CGHR’s emphasis on praxis, Sebastián’s work also proved to be relevant in practitioner circuits. He advised a member of the Chilean Constituent Assembly on digital rights, contributed to the UN’s Global Digital Compact, published knowledge exchange articles in outlets such as Open Democracy, and got interviewed by the SustAInmagazine. This Summer, Sebastián shared a panel on Artificial Intelligence and the environment along with researchers, activists and an MEP at the CPDP conference in Brussels. He also held a lively international agenda, being invited to deliver talks in Europe, Latin America and Asia by organisations such as AlgorithmWatchOxfman, the Green Web Foundation and the Singapore Biennale.

Sebastián shared a panel at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference in Brussels along with researchers, activists and policy-makers in May. 

Sebastián also contributed to the teaching done at Cambridge, designing and delivering the Technology & Global Social Justice paper at POLIS, and teaching and supervising students from POLISSociology and the Centre for the Future of Intelligence.

Regarding his time at CGHR, Sebastián expressed: ‘CGHR is an excellent intellectual home for thinking about technology and global social justice. I enjoyed being part of an interdisciplinary research group that values both critical thinking and the experience of human rights practitioners working in the field. It is not common to find academic environments where you have freedom to explore new avenues of research in company of thoughtful mentors and a community that keeps your feet on the ground. At CGHR I felt supported and challenged in ways that deeply shaped and furthered my career’.

We will deeply miss Sebastián, but we are also happy to have made a friend who will keep inspiring us with his original research and energy in the future.