Paradoxically, the most noticeable and, arguably, only constant in our modern landscape is fast change, with a speed that is perpetually accelerating. The technological development seen in recent times has prompted an era of exponential growth, development and considerable disruption to the status quo. Recent decades have seen the arrival of the Internet, Voyager 1 spacecraft's journey beyond the outer reaches of our Solar System, and the widespread use of computers and smartphones. Current research into innovative technology points to the questions: what developments are to come, and what will their consequences be?
In January 2018, EmpowerHerVoice celebrated their one year anniversary at Oxford by hosting a panel discussion led by forward-thinking female researchers focusing on what the future of science and technology holds. Topics that our speakers have a particular interest in include artificial intelligence, quantum computing and more. These areas of study are undoubtedly very popular research interests given their prominence in media headlines today. What makes these topics so fascinating? What is it like to be working on them? Will this research really have a tangible impact within our lifetimes? Join us to learn about the current frontier of scientific research and how certain, seemingly abstract, concepts have the potential to affect our lives in a hugely meaningful way.
Speakers AND TALKS
Letizia Marchegiani joined the Oxford Robotics Institute in April 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests lie in the areas of signal processing, machine learning, and their application to robotics, autonomous systems, cognitive modelling and intelligent healthcare. Within the Oxford Robotics Institute, she served as the leader of the energy flagship, working on energy consumption estimation, and energy-efficient planning. Most recently, her research activity has been covering driver behaviour modelling and auditory perception for smart vehicles. Previously, she was associated with the INSPIRE (Investigating Speech Processing In Realistic Environments) Initial Training Network as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow and collaborated, as a visiting researcher, with the Centre for Applied Hearing Research and the Cognitive Systems Group at the Technical University of Denmark. Letizia holds a BEng in Computer Engineering, an MSc in Computer Engineering with specialisation in Artificial Intelligent Systems, and a PhD in Computing Science and Engineering from Sapienza, University of Rome.
For more information about Letizia and her past work can be found at:
Aprajita Verma is a Project Scientist for the UK Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) Programme and a Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford. After receiving her PhD and a short post-doc at Imperial College (London), Aprajita was a member of the research staff at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching (2001-2006), and subsequently joined the Sub-department of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford (2006-present). Her research interests cover a wide range of extragalactic topics, including dust obscured star-forming and black hole hosting galaxies, high-redshift (distant) galaxies and gravitational lensing. She is a co-founder of 'Space Warps' , the Zooniverse Citizen Science project to find gravitational lenses. Dr Verma regularly gives public talks on her research and the ELT and has been interviewed for features in the press, television and radio.
For more information on Aprajita's past work visit
Margie Cheesman is a doctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. She is an anthropologist of digital infrastructures and international development, and has previously worked for the Observer, the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CReSC), and Open Migration.
You can follow Margie on twitter @margchee
For more information on her past work visit
Marina Jirotka is the Professor of Human Centred Computing in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Her expertise involves co-producing user and community requirements and human computer interaction, particularly for collaborative systems (CSCW). Whilst researching into open and collaborative science, she became increasingly concerned about the potential negative consequences for society and policy emerging from these initiatives, and focussed on creating a corpus of work around Responsible Research and Innovations aligned to ICT and disruptive approaches to ethical/legal/policy issues. She has been at the forefront of recent work in RRI in the UK and the European Union concentrating on: (1) the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of new forms of governance for RRI; new methods for the dissemination of materials; and innovative ways of engaging the public in debates on RRI in ICT (2) Unpacking the practices and concepts of innovation of digital systems in the context of professional organisations. (3) Developing new, and enhancing existing methods, for RRI practice for digital system developers and (4) creating a social charter for embedding novel platforms into Smart Societies to provide enhanced agency for people and communities in the new Digital Economy.
She leads an interdisciplinary research group investigating the responsible development of technologies that are more responsive to societal acceptability and desirability. Her current projects involve a range of topics in RRI: she leads the Responsible Innovation initiative for Quantum Technologies; Co-PI on EPSRC Digital Economy TIPS project, Emancipating Users Against Algorithmic Biases for a Trusted Digital Economy (UnBias); and co-directing the development of an Observatory for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT (ORBIT) that will provide RRI services to ICT researchers. From her work on analysing the spread of hate speech and misinformation on social media, she was recently appointed specialist advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications for their inquiry into Children and the Internet.
Marina is a Chartered IT Professional of the British Computer Society and sits on the ICT Ethics Specialist Group committee. She has published widely in international journals and conferences on e-Research, Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Requirements Engineering.