Anne Beaulieu

Senior Research Fellow
Deputy Programme Leader
Founding Member

My work focuses on the relationship between knowledge and technology. I am interested in the way new objects, and ways of knowing and communicating about knowledge, develop as technologies are taken in up in research practices. Current research areas are visual knowing through digital images, new research methods for mediated ethnography, social technology and ‘e-research’.

Overview of cv

2005 tot heden: Senior Research Fellow en Deputy Programme Leader, Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences, KNAW, Amsterdam. Onderzoek (60%) en leiding geven (40%)

2001-2005: Senior Researcher (vaste aanstelling), Networked Research and Digital Information (Nerdi), KNAW, Amsterdam, met ‘nul aanstelling’ bij ASCoR, Amsterdam School of Communication Research, Universiteit van Amsterdam.

1999-2001: Lecturer in Science, Culture and Communication, (equivalent: universitair docent, tenure track), Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK.

1995-1999: Junior Docent, Wetenschaps- en technologiedynamica, Universiteit van  Amsterdam.

1992-1993 Onderwijs- en onderzoeksassistent, Department of English and Department of Epidemiology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


2000 Ph.D. Wetenschaps- en technologiedynamica, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Proefschrift: The Space inside the Skull: Digital Representations, Brain Mapping and Cognitive Neuroscience in the Decade of the Brain, Promotor: Prof. Dr. S.S. Blume.

1994 M.A. Graduate Programme in Communication, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Thesis: The Truth of the Trace: Constructing the Power of the Medical Image.

1992 B.A. (cum laude) Humanities (religious art), McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Research Themes:

Network Realism and New forms of authoritative knowledge

A project blog details the work going on in a major project to study knowledge creation around databases of images, called Network Realism. I am also investigating the dynamics of online infrastructure (mailing lists, databases for visual information and data sharing tools) in other scientific fields. This line of work investigates the development of new forms of authoritative knowledge in mediated settings, and addresses questions like: How is ‘objectivity’ of digital data established? How do new dynamics around networked sources lead to new views on canons? How do particular infrastructure shape how new visual knowledge can be apprehended? These are also questions I addressed in my work on new technologies in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. More recently, Sarah de Rijcke and I have written about these issues in terms of authoritative images in the ABG.

Ethnographic methods

I also write about methodological issues regarding laboratory studies and mediated research, and about the intellectual agenda of current ethnographic research on the internet. Several meetings around these themes, including international workshops on virtual ethnography in 2006 and in 2008, have been organized by the VKS collaboratory on virtual ethnography, and other activities are in the planning. More information about these can be found on the VKSethno blog. Together with Sarah de Rijcke and Bas van Heur, I am also writing about non-traditional sites of knowledge production.

Work on new research methods is documented through various events of the VKS collaboratory on Virtual Ethnography, which I am leading, Workshops 2006, 2007, 2008, as well as in a number of publications on ethnography and STS, on the challenge of mediation for ethnography and on the issue of co-presence in the field (forthcoming in Social Studies of Science).

Social Technology

Social technology is an ongoing project to reflect on the possible consequences of the intersection of two concepts, ‘social’ and ‘technology’ that have a weighty tradition in STS . This work is pursued in the course of a project with Maarten Derksen. A workshop on this topic will be held in October 2009 at the Virtual Knowledge Studio, co-organised with Maarten Derksen and Signe Vikkelsoe and sponsored by WTMC. The three of us are editing a special issue of Theory and Psychology, which will present work from participants to the workshop.

E-research and Humanities

E-research, digital and computational humanities are also areas of continuing interest. I engage with these topics in the course of research projects like Alfalab, together with Smiljana Antonijevic and Charles van den Heuvel of the VKS and colleagues in other institutes of the KNAW, as well as in the framework of agenda-setting activities and reflection on these trends in scholarship.


The Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences,
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Cruquiusweg 31
1019 AT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

T: +31 (0)20 850 0277
F: +31 (0)20 850 0271