Foundations of Information research group

FIRG meets to discuss and promote research into historical, societal, ethical, and philosophical topics within information systems, studies, and science.

The information society and its digital technologies have had and continue to have profound implications for modern life and work, thus warranting the study of and critical reflection on various fundamental aspects of information, society, and their intersection. Such study requires engaging with topics in the history of information and computing; theories and philosophy of information; the ethics of information and the related professional conduct and social responsibilities; and thus consequently also human values like access and privacy, productivity and sustainability, and remembering and forgetting. Myriad fundamental questions surround these topics, such as:

  • To what extent should companies respect and try to protect customers' and users' privacy?
  • What challenges to our privacy are exacerbated or assuaged by the digital nature of modern life?
  • What are our shared cultural and professional values regarding information and its many uses and abuses?
  • What constitutes such uses and abuses, and what makes them morally right or wrong?
  • How can policy best reflect our values and encourage the professional behaviour required to protect them?
  • What is the role of information and information technologies in improving sustainability?
  • What overarching theories about information, and its nature, can help us answer such questions?
  • And what can the history of information and computing tell us about the above questions?

Group members

Meet the staff and postgraduate students involved with the Foundations of Information research group.