Profile

Gina Neff is the Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology & Democracy at the University of Cambridge and Professor of Technology & Society at the University of Oxford. Her books include Venture Labor (MIT Press 2012), Self-Tracking (MIT Press 2016) and Human-Centered Data Science (MIT Press 2022).

Her research focuses on the effects of the rapid expansion of our digital information environment on workers and workplaces and in our everyday lives. Professor Neff holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University and advises international organisations including UNESCO, OECD and the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. She chairs the International Scientific Committee of the UK’s Trusted Autonomous Systems programme and is a member of the Strategic Advisory Network for the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council.

Her academic research has won both engineering and social sciences awards. She also led the team that won the 2021 Webby for the best educational website on the Internet, for the A to Z of AI, which has reached over a million people in 17 different languages.

Areas of Interest for Doctoral Supervision

Professor Neff is no longer taking on doctoral students.

Research interests

Innovation, work, organisations, culture, communication, theory, qualitative methods, critical data studies, science and technology studies.

Position held at the OII

  • Professor of Technology & Society, October 2020 –
  • Director of DPhil programme, January 2017 – September 2019
  • Senior Research Fellow, July 2016 – October 2020
  • Associate Professor, July 2016 – October 2020

Current students

OII

Sociology

Primary Care Health

Former students

Research

Current projects

  • The Futures for Online Consumption

    Participants: Professor Gina Neff, Blake DiCosola

    How might the future of consumption change how we track and monitor ourselves? This project will test different strategies for helping people make healthier choices in online food shopping.

  • AI in the News: Reshaping our Information Ecosystem

    Participants: Professor Gina Neff, Felix Simon

    This project will engage key stakeholders in the UK news industry in a public symposium to address urgent and pressing questions about news production in the age of AI.

  • Connected Fitness: Can Online Fitness Communities Facilitate Social Connectedness?

    Participants: Professor Gina Neff, Blake DiCosola, Jaimie Freeman

    This study will assess how self-tracking data shapes social communities and the support people that receive from them, mapping the roles that online fitness communities play in maintaining psychological and social wellbeing and social connectedness.

Past projects

  • Reconfiguring Citizen Participation in Cybersecurity

    Participants: Julia Slupska, Professor Gina Neff, Scarlet Dawson Duckworth, Linda Ma, Nayana Prakash, Selina Cho

    Reconfigure is a feminist cybersecurity project that uses community-based participatory methods and feminist approaches to reconfigure cybersecurity research and build public capacity for data privacy and action.

  • AI & Data Diversity

    Participants: Professor Gina Neff

    This project seeks to advance public understanding of data diversity and the everyday decisions around AI and technology innovation. This will help build better technologies and strengthen the science on diversity in technology-led growth.

  • Data Work: Collaboration, Sense Making and the Possible Futures for Work

    Participants: Professor Gina Neff

    How do new types of data change workplace practices?

Books

  • Neff, G. and Nafus, D. (2016) Self-Tracking. MIT Press.
  • Amman, J., Carpenter, T. and Neff, G. (2015) Surviving the New Economy. Routledge.
  • Neff, G. (2012) Venture Labor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chapters

Conference papers

Journal articles

Reports

  • Slupska, J., Duckworth, S.D. and NEFF, G. (2021) Reconfigure: Feminist Action Research in Cybersecurity. Oxford, UK: Oxford Internet Institute.
  • NEFF, G., McGrath, M. and Prakash, N. (2020) AI @ Work: Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace. Oxford: Future Says_.

Videos

Events

Blog

Press

Integrity Statement

In the past five years work my work and the work of my students has been financially supported by UK taxpayers, UK Economic and Social Research Council, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Google and Microsoft. As part of my science communication and policy outreach, I have served in an advisory capacity with paid talks, paid training or unpaid service on an advisory board or working group with the following organizations: AI Now, Configuring Light Project at LSE, Center for Critical Internet Inquiry at UCLA (C2I2), University of Copenhagen, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Data & Society Research Institute, DigiMed, GMG Ventures, IAC, ING Bank, Minderoo Foundation, Northern Illinois University, Understanding Public Uses of Data and Dashboards Project at UC Irvine, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Royal Society, Saïd School of Business Executive Education, Structure Tone, University of Calgary Gairdner Lecture, VIRT-EU H2020 Project, The Women’s Forum for Economy & Society,  Zinc VC.

I have provided consultancy services for ESRC, UNESCO, OECD and the IAB.

I serve as the chair of the scientific committee of UKRI’s Trusted Autonomous Systems programme and on the board of the ESRC’s Strategic Advisory Network. I chair the board of advisors for the social media start-up Bright and advise two Oxford student-based entrepreneurship groups, Oxford Entrepreneurs and the Christ Church Entrepreneurs Circle.