Senior Research Fellow, The School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh
Beltane Fellow: 1 Jan 2014-30 June 2014
Jean’s research is about how groups communicate, the impact on their effectiveness, and the role technology might play to help them function better. She is interested in both straight research and applied work, for instance, studying health care team effectiveness or designing and testing technology prototypes.
Her current research considers why as a society, we are failing to reduce our energy use, and what role communication and technology could play in helping grass-roots groups accelerate change. As well as applying her expertise in the study of groups to this problem, her approach has included informal observation of many different small charities, social enterprises, and voluntary organizations. She is particularly interested in the problems that groups of volunteers face in managing complex premises, such as churches, where energy use can easily escalate accidentally, in how good practice spreads across social networks, and how mobile devices can be used not just to improve communication but also for energy monitoring and control.
Jean’s goal for her Beltane Public Engagement Fellowship is to bring together academics, the church community, green activists, and the people who use church buildings and halls so that we can begin to understand how to make our community spaces comfortable and affordable to use.