Brian Beaton named Interim Director, Sara Fine Institute


The iSchool is pleased to announce Dr. Brian Beaton has been named Interim Director of the Sara Fine Institute (SFI). In 1998, the Institute was established and named in honor of Dr. Sara Fine (1932-2012), a long-time professor at the School of Information Sciences (1975-1998). Dr. Fine dedicated her career to investigating the psychological and sociological effects of new technologies. In the 15 years since its establishment, the SFI has promoted the study of technologies and cultures, with the focus on information technologies, interpersonal behavior, and human-machine interactions, after the pioneering research of Dr. Fine.

The Sara Fine Institute hosts an annual lecture each spring and in recent years has welcomed Dr. Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley Law School and School of Information, Dr. Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School and Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and Dr. Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School, among others. Details about the 2014 Lecture will be posted on the SFI website, which also contains information about past and current projects of the Institute.

Dr. Beaton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Sciences who joined the faculty at the iSchool in August 2012. Since then, Beaton has received seven grants and awards to fund his research and teaching endeavors. Dr. Beaton’s research interests are closely tied to the goals of the SFI, making him an ideal Interim Director. Using qualitative methods and drawing from history, sociology and anthropology, Beaton researches and writes about public understanding of data and everyday data culture. Read more about Dr. Beaton on his home page.