The way we engage with digital technology and the internet is developing faster than researchers can keep up with. That’s why understanding the ways in which we use digital technology and the internet is such an interesting and important area of research. This night will focus on some of the ways we interact with and form connections online – specifically, our speakers will discuss their research on the spread of medical information online, and how people use the darknet for illicit drug trade.

On Wednesday May 16th, Dr. Angus Bancroft took part in a ‘Pint of Science’ festival event on digital technologies. His presenation was entitled ‘Don’t Fear the Darknet’. Here is an abstract for his presentation:

The darknet is the hidden, anonymous internet.
It has got a lot of bad publicity as the home of cyber criminals and spies. However there is a lot to learn from the principles behind the darknet and from users of it. They show how to keep our data private and ourselves safer online. I study cyber criminal operations that use the darknet to deal in drugs and malware. I’ll discuss what I found and what we can learn from cyber-criminals, why it is better for drug dealers to have lots of acquaintances and few friends, what capitalism can learn from the drug trade and lots more.

Before him, Anna Couturier (the Digital Communications Manager at EuroStemCell) gave a presentation on ‘Why Googling Diseases can be Harmful to your Health’. Here is an abstract for her presentation:

In recent years, stem cell research and regenerative medicine have captivated the public with their seemingly limitless potential to cure. Yet proven effective and safe treatments derived from stem cells are limited to a handful of conditions and diseases. At the same time, private clinics offering catch-all solutions through unproven treatments on platforms like Google have become ubiquitous. How have the structures of digital spaces themselves fundamentally transformed the way we interact with information vital to our healthcare decisions?

To learn more about this event, other events, and the larger festival click here.


Categories: Events


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