This collaborative program of research is led by Dr. Kelly Bronson, Canada Research Chair in Science & Society at the University of Ottawa (see www.scienceandsocietycollective.com). 

Farming is said to be undergoing a digital “revolution.” For example, new tractors are now fitted with sensors that passively collect data on the farm, on farm equipment and even farmers. This data is aggregated with those from other farms into “big data” which are used in machine learning to advise farmers on when to spray, seed and harvest. A small but growing international group of critical social scientists now study the societal impacts of digitization in agriculture. Dr. Bronson’s work focuses on the potential that big data and the digital tools for collecting, aggregating and analyzing them is poised to reproduce long-standing and inequitable relationships of power in the agri-food sector. Through collaborations with Dr. Irena Knezevic, this program of research is an important part of food studies initiatives at Carleton University and engages students in the Communication and Media Studies program.

Green Tractor

Selected collaborative publications:

Lynch, M., I. Knezevic and K. Ryan. (2020). Qualitative analysis of social media platforms: Opportunities for dietetic researchers and practitioners. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 2020 Dec 15: 1-5. doi: 10.3148/cjdpr-2020-035.

Livingstone, C.  and I. Knezevic. (2020). From Online Cart-to-Plate: What Amazon’s Retail Domination Means for the Future of Food. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9 (4), 311–329. doi: 10.5304/jafscd.2020.094.017.

Bronson, K. and I. Knezevic. (2019). The “big data divide” and how it matters for Canadian food system equity. Canadian Journal of Communication, Policy Portal, 44 (2), 63-68. doi: 10.22230/cjc.2019v44n2a3489

Bronson, K. and I. Knezevic. (2017). Look twice at the digital agricultural revolution. Policy Options. Online at http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/september-2017/look-twice-at-the-digital-agricultural-revolution/, September 7.

Bronson K. and I. Knezevic (2016). Perspective: Food Studies Scholars Can No Longer Ignore the Rise of Big Data, Canadian Food Studies, 3(1), 9-19. doi: 10.15353/cfs-rcea.v3i1.138

Supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.