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Menisha Patel

Coloured block

Social Scientist

My early research was as a member of the Work Interaction and Technology (WIT) Centre at King’s College London.  It was here that my work was at a very local level of consideration, through a workplace studies approach (informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis). My PhD focused on unpacking the interactional accomplishments underpinning the management of a distributed workplace and control-room environment, namely Victoria Underground Station. I was also able to undertake and contribute to fine-grained studies of users interacting with technologies in a diverse range of settings-for example in control rooms, medical operating theatres, auction houses and within museums.

Following my PhD in 2013, I moved to the Oxford e-Research Centre, as part of HCC where my considerations moved to more macro concerns such as governance and Responsible Innovation (RI).  I worked on the EU FP7 Responsibility Project (, on the development of an online platform to facilitate interaction between researchers and policy makers in relation to the impact and dissemination of RI. My particular role involved an interactive assessment of the tool which was accomplished through quasi-naturalistic experiments and stakeholder interviews.  I was also able to contribute to two other FP7 Projects focused on RI concerns, and the societal and ethical issues related to the development and governance of innovate technologies- the Great Project, and Smart Society.

After three years at the Oxford e-Research Centre, I moved to the Department of Computer Science where I initially worked on a short Impact Acceleration project ‘ZOON’ ( - which was geared towards the development and assessment of an open source platform for Species Distribution Modelling. This involved using qualitative approaches- comprised of discussion and interactive activities with data modellers- to iteratively assess the tool and work collaboratively developers to help integrate the findings from each phase of assessment.

I am currently working on the EPSRC funded UnBias project ( that focuses on the user experience of algorithms- particularly concerned with issues of fairness in relation their design and deployment.  The project has placed primacy on understanding the perspectives of young people- and through engagement with them and other relevant stakeholders we have produced the outcomes of the project. These include a co-produced ‘fairness toolkit’; educational materials and resources; and the development of policy recommendations and response to calls for evidence regarding the concerns and rights of young internet users.

Wednesday 12th Dec 2018, 09.00am

Can a machine pick a perfect Christmas gift?

It is that time a year again where our relationships are tested to find that perfect Christmas gift! Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an algorithm that could do it for you? In this episode of the Big Questions podcast we ask the question: Can a machine pick a perfect Christmas gift?


To find out we went to the Department of Computer Science to speak to Senior Researcher Helena...

Can a machine pick a perfect Christmas gift?