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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Prof. Julia Powles presents at Annual WYNG-Hatton Conference


On 18 April 2024, LML affiliate Prof. Julia Powles presented at the annual WYNG-Hatton Conference.


LML welcomed Prof. Powles from the University of Western Australia (UWA), where she is the Director of the UWA Tech & Policy Lab.


Prof. Powles presented on “The case for moving beyond ‘data’”:

‘data’ is a category so ill-defined, and its explanatory power so over-extended, that it has come to resemble the ‘aether’ that dominated centuries of pre-twentieth century science. The presentation is based on a paper exploring the implications of data’s instability for contemporary data markets and firms developing artificial intelligence products and services, with particular attention to the healthcare sector.

The paper advances the argument that ‘data’ presents a set of questions – yet it is too often mistaken for an answer. Unless we insist on moving beyond ‘data’ to specified, contextual activities of extraction, reduction, and recomposition, the eagerly anticipated, economy-wide benefits of digital technologies will remain a mirage.


Prof. Powles and LML Director Prof. Kathy Liddell are discussing potential research collaborations between LML and UWA. Prof. Powles is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab.