Director of Data Science Ethnography

DSC01614 (3)eScience Institute 

Senior Research Scientist

Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering

Affiliate Faculty

Department of Communication

University of Washington


As a data science ethnographer I study the sociocultural implications of data-intensive science and how data-intensive technologies are reshaping how people work and organize. My research focuses on cross-sector and interdisciplinary data science collaborations; emerging models of education and civic participation; and bringing human-centered and ethical thinking to data science practice.  I have particular interest in these questions in the arenas of healthcare, civic engagement, technology innovation and scientific research.

I direct the data science ethnography research program at the eScience Institute and the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. I co-lead UW Data Science Studies, an interdisciplinary group of researchers studying the sociotechnical and ethical dimensions of the emerging practice of data science. I blog about issues in Data Science Studies here. UW Data Science Studies is part of a collaborative and multi-sited working group supported through the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments and in partnership with researchers at Berkeley Institute for Data Science and the Center for Data Science in New York University.

 Whenever possible my work follows a model of action research. This means my research practice aims to inform and affect positive change within the communities I am studying. Often this takes the form of articulating the challenges and opportunities for communication and collaboration during times of technological change. I work with communities and organizations to understand their needs and develop value-informed and adaptive leadership strategy. I also consult on organizational and product strategy and a range of human-centered design projects.

I earned my Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University. As an interdisciplinary researcher I am most at home somewhere between Science and Technology Studies (STS), Media Studies, and Organizational Communication. My research has examined questions of communication, collaboration and organizational change around data-intensive technologies in healthcare, global development, and design and construction.

You can follow this link to my CV.

You can contact me at fioreb at uw dot edu