Dr Alexander R. E. Taylor
Lecturer in Communications
- Digital media and communications infrastructure
- Data centres (geopolitics, security, environmental impact)
- Cloud computing
- Film streaming / digital distribution infrastructure
- Techno-apocalyptic narratives
- Critical data studies
- Digital materialities (labour, e-waste, infrastructure)
- Data-driven and algorithmic media (e.g. Netflix recommendation systems)
- Pre-digital nostalgia
- Digital detoxing/disengagement
- Media addiction (binge-watching)
- Digital sustainability (carbon relations of media consumption)
- Social studies of outer space
- Clarity of presentation - what research questions will the project explore, and what methods will be used to do this - this should be intellectually rigorous but jargon free.
- Importance/Originality - what is distinctive about the proposed project, how does it both build upon, and extend, existing conceptual thinking or creative practice?
- Fit to Scheme, Fit to student - what evidence can the proposal offer that there is a strong fit to supervisory expertise at Exeter, why are you the person to take this project on? Beyond gaining a PhD, what will you gain from undertaking the project?
- Feasibility - is the project well planned, and scaled appropriately to be completed within 3 years?
- A cover letter that is no more than two pages
- A letter from two different referees
- A transcript (in English or a certified translation) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- English language proficiency results
October 2022: University of Oxford
'Tracing space weather disruptions to early radio communications in the Marconi Archives'
A short film was produced about the research I have been conducting with the Marconi Archives at the University of Oxford. It can be viewed here.
January 2021: BBC World News
‘Turn off your camera during virtual meetings… it could help save the environment’
In January 2021 I was interviewed by the BBC World Service (Africa and Indonesia) for a news report on the carbon footprint of the data centre industry: https://www.bbc.com/afrique/monde-55815454
November 2020: Channel 4 (UK)
'Is Your Online Habit Killing the Planet?'
The November 2020 episode of Channel 4's investigative documentary series, Dispatches, was prompted by an article I wrote about the environmental impact of the internet during the pandemic. The article was published on 8 May 2020 by the Corona Times and is available here: https://www.coronatimes.net/going-digital-not-as-green-covid-19/
The Channel 4 documentary is available to view here: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/online-habits-killing-the-planet-dispatches/on-demand/71182-001
August 2020: The Being Human Show (a podcast from The Royal Anthropological Institute)
'Are the Robots Going to Kill Us?'
I was a guest speaker in this episode of the Royal Anthropological Society’s podcast The Being Human Show. We discussed the relationship between the human and the digital through a focus on what being human might look like in a 'post-human' world. Together with host Jennifer Cearns and fellow guest speakers Dr Beth Singler (University of Cambridge) and Dr Laura Musgrave (Ronin Institute), we discussed how smart technologies and artificial intelligence are being incorporated into our lives, and the impacts of this upon us as individuals, and upon society at large.
You can listen to the episode via Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0hvjr5OeROd4Vkh2wPt5hi
March 2019: ABC News
‘Infinite scroll: Will data centres end up eating our cities as we chew through more data?’
In March 2019 I was interviewed by ABC News for this article exploring the growing boom in data centre construction: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-16/will-data-centres-end-up-eating-up-the-planets-real-estate/10870946
May 2018: Failed Architecture
‘Data Space: The Architecture and Impact of Data Centres’
In May 2018, I was interviewed by Failed Architecture for the first episode of their podcast, which explored the built spaces of big data. The podcast was inspired by my article on the data centre industry for Failed Architecture titled, ‘Failover Architectures: The Infrastructural Excess of the Data Centre Industry’: https://failedarchitecture.com/failover-architectures-the-infrastructural-excess-of-the-data-centre-industry/
You can listen to the podcast episode here: https://failedarchitecture.com/podcast/01-data-space-the-architecture-and-impact-of-data-centres-2/
May 2018: The Conversation
‘Google and Facebook won’t rule the world – if we don’t buy their fantasies about big data’
In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March 2018, I wrote an article on the politics and promises of big data for The Conversation. The article is available here: https://theconversation.com/google-and-facebook-wont-rule-the-world-if-we-dont-buy-their-fantasies-about-big-data-95734
I'm a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and I teach across a range of modules on the Communications programme, including:
- CMM1001 - Perspectives on Communications
- CMM1002 - Communications Challenges
- CMM1003 - Global Communications
- CMM2001 - Communications in the Workplace
- CMM2005 - Communicating Global Issues in a Changing World
- CMM2006 - Communications and Climate Crisis
- CMM2007 - Communications in the 21st Century
- CMM2008 - Communications Research Methods
- CMM3002 - Communications: Dissertation