In what is likely the most fun episode I spoke to Penny Andrews. This started out as a chat about Penny’s research into current research information systems, institutional repositories and academic social networking services such as academia.edu. Penny gives some fascinating insights from her research into how people use these systems and the political economy around in which they are integrated. I found it particularly fascinating to hear about how people increasingly have little choice but to use these systems which generate data and enable control of academic life by multinational corporations. Along the way there are some diversions in our chat into the state of academia, the pressures created by systems of measurement, digital capitalism and even Doctor Who and Charlie from Casualty. Warning! This is a wide-ranging chat which I considered cutting down to something more focused but actually the charm of this episode is in the shambolic loose character of it. Penny also tells me plenty about one of her other great passions; Ed Balls gifs!
Also, I recorded this about a year ago and it has taken me ages to upload this (sorry Penny) but most of the political diversions we go down are still mostly pertinent which perhaps says a lot about the state we’re in.
Penny has written about her fandom for Ed Balls and her role as the worlds most prominent producer of Ed gifs and read some of her articles on higher education and metrics at Wonkhe
You can follow Penny on Twitter @pennyb
You can listen to this episode wherever you usually get your podcasts: