PoSR Authors

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PoSR is a collaborative effort between Sally A. Applin and Dr. Michael D. Fischer at the University of Kent, Canterbury in the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing.


Sally A. Applin

Sally A. Applin earned her Ph.D.in Anthropology at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, working with the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC) where she researches the changing relationship between humans and algorithms, the impact of technology on culture, Maker culture, leading technologies, and the outcomes of network complexities as modeled by PolySocial Reality (PoSR). Sally holds a Masters degree from the graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU (ITP), and a BA in Conceptual Design from SFSU. Sally has had a career in the science museum design, computer software, telecommunications, innovation, insight, and product design/definition industries working as a Senior UX Designer, Senior Researcher, and Senior Consultant.

Dr. Applin is an anthropologist and Sr. Researcher who explores the domains of human agency, algorithms, AI, and automation in the context of social systems and sociability. Dr. Applin is a Research Fellow at HRAF Advanced Research Centres (EU), Canterbury, Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC), and Research Fellow at Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), Yale University. Dr. Applin has been an Associate Editor of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Associate Editor of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine (Societal Impacts Section), and an Executive Board Member of the Edward H. and Rosamond B. Spicer Foundation. Dr. Applin is currently a member of IoT Council (a think tank for the Internet of Things (IoT)), Shortwave Collective, the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics in Computer Science, the IEEE Algorithmic Decision Making Working Group (2017–ongoing), and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). A former collegiate dinghy racer, Dr. Applin currently belongs to the HMBYC.


Dr. Michael D. Fischer

Michael D. Fischer is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropological Sciences at the University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom, as well as the Director of the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing; Vice President of the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), Yale University; a Director of HRAF Advanced Research Centres (Kenta and Yale); and a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow. His research interests are the representation and structure of indigenous knowledge, cultural informatics, invention, the impact of mobile communications on social networks and agency, and the interrelationships between ideation and the material contexts within which ideation is expressed. He has worked mainly in the Punjab and Swat in Pakistan, and the Cook Islands. Fischer is Professor of Anthropological Sciences in the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent and is currently Director of the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, the University of Kent at Canterbury. He has received grants from the ESRC, AHRB, SERC, MRC, HEFCE, JISC, Leverhulme and Nuffield, on topics including ethnography of Pakistan and the Cook Islands, formal analysis, multi-media databases, coding methods, virtual reality, performance and large scale networked databases, historical anthropology and textual markup.