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Sociology Research


Richard is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Richard has a professional background in public relations, project management and science communication. His previous projects include: European Commission funded Energy Union, James Cameron’s Avatar Alliance Foundation, Global Campaign Climate Action & Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour film. Richard advises civil servants, social entrepreneurs and NGOs through his role at Centre for Science and Policy. His areas of expertise include digital tools for social and community development, post-disaster and refugee digital solutions, open policy platforms and science communication. Richard also supports the digital sector’s response to the refugee crisis and is the co-founder of Techfugees Cambridge, a group committed to supporting Internet connectivity for refugee camps. He also works with the Techfugees team in London.

Whilst at Cambridge Richard has been developing a project called This platform allows users to post then vote on evidence based policy ideas. This has application for public policy development and science communication.

Research Interests

Richard's research focuses on various aspects of digital society including the sharing economy, local social networking, online social interactions, social capital and political sociology. Pro-social networking sites like are online social spaces where strangers connect for a variety of interactions and outcomes. This social activity generates new forms of social and community capital which can potentially help individuals on low incomes and those who are socially isolated.

However, these new social environments may place new digital literacy and new social demands on certain individuals. As the UK and other governments are moving public services onto digital platforms, a process known as channel shift, the importance of online social environments is growing. Richard is interested in the how this “socio-digital” change creates both positive and negative impacts for certain individuals. Richard hopes to better understand the societal implications of channel shift asking if it leads to new forms of social inequality and new configurations of social power.

PhD Supervisor

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations

Job Title:
PhD Candidate, St Catharine's College
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