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Noortje Marres, MA PhD

Position held:
Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)20 7919 7571

+44 (0)20 7919 7713

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Noortje joined the Department in March 2011. Before that she was a Research Fellow in Science & Technology Studies at the University of Oxford, and a Marie Curie Fellow here in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths. She studied sociology and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, and did her doctoral research at that same university and at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, École des Mines, Paris. Noortje was part of the team that built the Issuecrawler, an online platform for the location and analysis of issue-networks, and is currently developing Issue Mapping Online. She convenes the MA/MSc Digital Sociology and is Director of the inter-disciplinary research centre CSISP (Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process).


I teach on the MA/MSc Digital Sociology and have contributed to courses on science, technology and society (science and politics, technological cultures; new media and publics). I have also taught a number of courses on social research methods (Issue Mapping, Controversy Analysis; Inventive Methods).

Areas of supervision

I currently co-supervise five doctoral students (in the areas of technologies of participation, digital social economy, controversy analysis; social media and non-governmental cultures, environmental awareness devices). I have supervised one PhD to completion (on the topic of Internet and health). I am interested in supervising postgraduate students in the broad areas of technology and democracy, environment and society, and digital social research.

Grants & awards

2011-2012   Issue Mapping: Demonstrating the Relevance for Participatory Social Research, ESRC Digital Social Research Demonstrator Project, principal investigator.

2008-2010   James Martin Fellowship in Science and Technology Studies, James Martin 20th Century School, University of Oxford.

2008-2009   European Union, 7th Framework Programme, Mapping Controversies on Science for Politics (MACOSPOL), PI: Bruno Latour, member of the Amsterdam team.

2007-2009   European Union, 6th Framework Programme, Marie Curie Research Fellowship, Reconstituting Citizens: public involvement as issue-entanglement (with Mike Michael).

2003-2004   Social Science Research Council, Research Network on Civil Society and Information Technology, directed by Robert Latham and Saskia Sassen, network member.

2001-2004  Open Society Institute and Ford Foundation, workshop series The Social Life of Issues 1 to 9, co-organiser (with Richard Rogers).


(2013) The birth of social media methods. Invited Lecture. Digital Methods Summerschool, University of Amsterdam, July 1st

(2013) Who is afraid of the Green Cloud? On the politics of infrastructure. Invited paper, Int workshop Infrastructures of Digital Culture, organised by Elizabeth Silva and Fernando Rubio, Open University, London, June 24

(2013) From non-humans to issues: felicities of digital culture, Key-note Lecture, Int symposium, The return of the non-human in the study of culture, University of Giessen (Germany), 27-28 May

(2013) No-thing is special. Invited Lecture, Int symposium on the philosophy of things (De Dingen de Baas), Drift, Amsterdam, April 6

(2013) Doing Sociology with Twitter? Testing methods of co-occurence  , BSA Annual Conference, Engaging Tactics, Great Connaught Rooms, London, April 2

(2013) An interface method: On co-word analysis and intervention in online research. STS Seminar, March 18, University College London

(2013) Tooling up or tooling down? On issue mapping and other interface methods.  The Ecology of Data, Institut des Sciences de la Communication du CNRS (ISCC), Paris, February 14

(2013) Interface methods: On live research and the re-distribution of 'our' knowledge. Key-note Lecture, 3rd Annual STS Postgraduate Conference, Lancaster University, January 9

(2012) On Controversy Analysis as a Digital Method (Or, the Co-word Machine). Paper presented at the EASST/4S Annual Meeting in Copenhagen, October 17-20

(2012) Doing Digital Sociology with Twitter: Actor Profiles and Issue Lifelines, invited keynote talk, Digital Ethnography Week, University of Trento, September 19.

(2012) Visualization in/as Issue Mapping Research, ESRC Methods Festival, St Catherine’s College, Oxford University, July 2-5.

(2012) Live research? Remediating Actor-network Theory, Invited lecture, Digital Methods Summer School, University of Amsterdam, June 26.

(2012)  Issues in Real-time Social Research. Department Seminar, Sociology, University of Essex, May 8.

(2012) Invited Speaker, Making Hard Times: The Changing Governance of Science and Technology in an Age of Austerity, Stream Plenary on Science and Technology Studies,, BSA Conference, University of Leeds, April 13.

(2012) Scraping the Social? Issues in Real-time Research (with Esther Weltevrede), Int. Conference Evaluation in the Media, Assemblee Nationale, Paris, 15-16 March.

(2011) The Happening of the Setting: Devising the Politics of Objects. Invited talk. No Thing Onto Itself: Object-Oriented Politics. The CUNY Graduate Centre. New York, October 20.

(2011) Post-social methods? Remediating co-link and co-word analysis. Invited presentation. Digital Methods Summer School, University of Amsterdam, June 29.

(2011) Re-distributing Methods: Digital Devices, Networked Environments, Public Sociology. Annual Conference of the British Sociological Association, London School of Economics, London, April 6.

(2010) Living experiments and the co-articulation of research, innovation and change. Invited keynote, Int conference on the Social studies of Renewable Energy, Trondheim, Norway, June 7-8.

(2010) Sustainable living experiments as participatory social science. Int workshop, Performing Environmental Change: the politics of social science methods, co-organised by Kristin Asdal and Noortje Marres, Kultrans, University of Oslo, May 21-22.

(2010) Introduction, Int workshop, After Markets: Researching Hybrid Arrangements, co-organised by Noortje Marres and Linsey McGoey, Instititute for Science, Innovation and Society, Oxford Said Business School, April 23.

(2009) Everday Carbon Accounting  and the Materialisation of Participation. Invited paper. Seminaire de Groupe de Recherche de Energy, Technology et Society, Electricity de France (EDF), Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris, 21 Sept.

(2009) How Environmental Publics Fail: material democracy and the problem of affectedness. Invited paper. Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, April 29.

(2009) Domesticating publics, de-domesticating technology: the home as a site of socio-technical change. Keynote, Int workshop Science Studies Meet Climate Change, Copenhagen University, 23-24 April

(2008) Invisible, nontoxic, but not exactly odourless? Carbon-based living and the costs of involvement. Departmental Seminar, Sociology, Lancaster University, 9 Dec.

(2008) Sub-politics in the Limelight: Green Homes as Sites of Publicity. Joint Conference of the Society for the Social Study of Science/European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 20-23 August.

(2008) The object turn changes register? Invited paper. Int workshop A Turn to Ontology, James Martin Institute, Oxford Saïd Business School, 25 June.

(2008) Walter Lippmann and the (dis)invention of the object-oriented public. Departmental seminar, Philosophy, Centre for European Philosophy, Middlesex University, 29 Feb.

(2008) The object turn in STS: a reply? Department of Sociology, University of Cardiff, 1 Feb.

(2008) Devising affectedness: Eco-homes and the making of material publics. Invited paper, Information Systems Research Forum, London School of Economics, 24 Jan.

(2007) The eco-home as a device of (dis)affectedness. Invited paper. Int workshop The Happening of the Social, Goldsmiths, 13-14 Dec.

(2007) Green homes and the special effect of issue-affectedness. Keynote. Int Conference on New Network Theory, University of Amsterdam, 28-30 June.

(2007) The Politics of affectedness. Invited paper, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, 27 March.

(2007) Pragmatism and the attachments of citizenship. Invited presentation. PhD workshop on Technology and Democracy. Dutch Graduate School for Science, Technology and Modern Culture, Ravenstein, 7 Feb.

(2006)  Frontstaging Non-humans. Invited paper. Int. workshop The Stuff of Politics, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, 4-8 Dec.

(2006) Dilemmas of home improvement: Can clean energy technology mediate civic involvement in climate change? Invited paper,  Int workshop Shifting Politics, University of Groningen, 21-22 April.

(2006) Pragmatist contributions: social ontologies of public involvement. Center For Law, Science, Technology & Society Studies, Free Univeristy Brussels, 10 Feb.

(2005) Issues tracing spaces of  publicity. Int workshop Journalism and European Public Space,  European Cultural Foundation and Mediamatic Foundation, Helsinki, 14-17 Sept.

Television and video output

Performing Environmental Change: the Politics of Social Science Methods (with Kristin Asdal) Keynote. Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference. University of Stockholm, 14-16 June 2011

Beyond the Academy: Research as Exhibition. Respondent to Bruno Latour. Tate Britain, Friday 14 May 2010 (audio starting at 94:00)

Spiral Drawing Sunrise. Collaboration with new media artist Esther Polak, Frederiksplein, Amsterdam, April 6 2009.

Devising Affectedness: Eco-Homes and the Making of Material Publics. Talk at the Information Systems Research Forum, London School of Economics, January 24, 2008.

A Thousand Dinners a Night: Amongst the Issue Celebrities., video made for Faith in Exposure, curated by David Garcia, Montevideo, Amsterdam, February 2007.    

Research interests

Science and Technology Studies, digital social research, political theory, environmental sociology, controversy analysis, actor-network theory

My work investigates various intersections between technology, environment, knowledge, and the public. I have a background in the social studies of science and technology, and my recent work is mainly concerned with the role of devices, environments and things in the enactment of participation (in public life, innovation, research, change). I take a special interest in digital forms of social research, with a focus on the development of methods and tools of controversy analysis and issue mapping. Finally, I have done work that brings together science and technology studies with political theory: I have written about issues of democracy in the technological society, and pragmatist contributions to our understanding of it, through concepts of material participation and public experiments.

Selected publications

Number of items: 20.


Marres, Noortje and Gerlitz, Carolin. 2015. Interface Methods: Renegotiating relations between digital social research, STS and sociology. Sociological Review, ISSN 0038-0261 [Article] (Forthcoming)

Marres, Noortje. 2015. Why Map Issues? On Controversy as a Digital Method. Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439 [Article] (Forthcoming)

Marres, Noortje and Weltevrede, Esther. 2013. Scraping the Social? Issues in live social research. Journal of Cultural Economy, 6(3), pp. 313-335. ISSN 1753-0350 [Article]

Marres, Noortje. 2012. The redistribution of methods: on intervention in digital social research, broadly conceived. Live Methods: Sociological Review Monographs, pp. 139-165. ISSN 978-1444339598 [Article]

Marres, Noortje and Lezaun, Javier. 2011. Materials and Devices of the Public: An Introduction. Economy and Society, 40(4), pp. 489-509. ISSN 0308-5147 [Article]

Marres, Noortje. 2009. Testing Powers of Engagement: Green Living Experiments, the Ontological Turn and the Undoability of Involvement. European Journal of Social Theory, 12(1), pp. 117-133. ISSN 1368-4310 [Article]


Book Section

Marres, Noortje. 2012. The Environmental Teapot and Other Loaded Household Objects: Reconnecting the Politics of Technology, Issues and Things. In: P Harvey, E Casella, G Evans, H Knox, C McLean, E Silva, N Thoburn and K Woodward, eds. Objects and Materials: A Routledge Companion. London and New York: Routledge, na-na. ISBN na [Book Section]

Marres, Noortje. 2012. The experiment in living. In: Celia Lury and Nina Wakeford, eds. Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 76-95. ISBN 978-0-415-57481-5 [Book Section]

Marres, Noortje. 2010. Frontstaging Nonhumans: Publicity as a Constraint on the Political Activity of Things. In: , ed. Political Matter Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, pp. 177-210. ISBN 978-0816670895 [Book Section]

Marres, Noortje and Rogers, Richard. 2005. Recipe for tracing the fate of issues and their publics on the Web. In: Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, eds. Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy. Cambridge (Mass): MIT Press, pp. 922-935. ISBN 978-0-262-12279-5 [Book Section]

Conference or Workshop Item

Marres, Noortje and McGoey, Linsey. 2012. 'Experimental failure: Notes on the limits of the performativity of markets '. In: After Markets: Researching Hybrid Arrangements. Oxford Said Business School , United Kingdom. [Conference or Workshop Item]

This list was generated on Thu Mar 5 09:42:34 2015 GMT.

Books and Special Issues

(2012) Material Participation: Technology, Environment and Everyday Publics. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Reviews of Material Participation:

      Laurent, Brice (2013) An Experimental Democratic Theory? Journal of Cultural Economy, 10.1080/17530350.2013.808161

      Johnson, Mark (2012)'s Review in Information, Communication and Society 16 (6) 10.1080/1369118X.2012.750679

      Oenen, Gijs (2012) Participation as if Things Mattered, In: Krisis, Issue 3.

(2010) Re:publiek der Letteren, Special Issue of the Dutch Cultural Journal, N. Marres (Ed.), De Gids 3/173

(2005) No issue, no public: democratic deficits after the displacement of politics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Amsterdam, available via UvA Open Access.

Articles in peer-reviewed Journals

(2002) French scandals on the Web, and on the streets: Stretching the limits of reported reality (with Richard Rogers). Asian Journal of Social Science 30 (2): 339-353.

(2000) Landscaping Climate Change: A mapping technique for  understanding science & technology debates on the World Wide Web (with Richard Rogers). Public Understanding of Science 9 (2): 141-163.

Book chapters

(2010) Frontstaging Non-humans:The Politics of 'Green' Things and the Constraint of Publicity. In B. Braun and S. Whatmore (Eds.). Political Matter: technoscience, democracy and public life (2010) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

(2007) Dilemmas of Home Improvement. Can Clean Energy Technology Mediate Civic Involvement in Climate Change? In M Feher (Ed.). Nongovernmental Politics. New York: Zone Books.

(2005) Issues spark a public into being: A key but often forgotten point of the Lippmann-Dewey debate. In B. Latour and P. Weibel (Eds.).Making Things Public. Karlsruhe/Cambridge (Mass.): ZKM/MIT Press. (translated into Swedish as Offentligheten uppstår genom sakfrågor. Fronesis 22/23: 248-263, 2006)

(2005) Recipe for tracing the fate of issues and their publics on the Web (with Richard Rogers). In B. Latour and P. Weibel (Eds.).Making Things Public. Karlsruhe/Cambridge (Mass.): ZKM/MIT Press.

(2002) May the true victim of defacement stand up: On reading the network configurations of scandal on the Web. In B. Latour and P. Weibel (Eds.). Iconoclash, Image-making in Science Religion and Art. Karlsruhe/Cambridge (Mass.): ZKM/MIT Press.

(2000) Depluralising the Web and Repluralising Public Debate: The Case of the GM Food Debate on the Web (with Richard Rogers). In R Rogers (Ed.). Prefered Placement: Knowledge Politics on the Web. Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Editions.

Other Publications

(2010) What kind of space is the Sustainable Home? A comparative analysis of three green spheres on the Web. GIS Watch Yearbook - ICT and Environmental Sustainability. Global Information Society Watch.

(2010) The Harman Review: Bruno Latour’s Empirical Metaphysics (Commentator). Peter Erdelyi (Ed), Sydney: Re:press.

(2008) A conversation with Lucy Kimbell and Nina Wakeford. Imagining Business, exhibition catelogue, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

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