[Air-L] JOB CALL: postdoctoral socio-legal research scientists working on trust and technology

Balazs Bodo bodo at mokk.bme.hu
Mon Mar 9 08:08:09 PDT 2020


The Institute for Information Law (www.ivir.nl ) at the University of
Amsterdam is looking for a postdoctoral socio-legal research scientist
*Job description*

As a research scientist, you’ll be working on the social and institutional
aspects of trust in and by technological systems. Multiple technologies
emerged to produce trust (such as global reputation systems,
(self-sovereign) identity systems), or minimize the need for trust (DLTs).
Trust, as produced by technical systems has many possible sources: strong
cryptography, censorship resistance through decentralization, good
governance, or legal legibility, certainty and compliance. Some of these
trust sources, like technology governance and regulation, can complement
each other. Others, such as compliance and decentralization, seem to be in
contradiction. As a social scientist, you will be working with legal
scholars on answering the following two questions at the intersection of
trust and technology:

   - How do (decentralized) technologies produce trust or minimize the need
   for trust?
   - What makes these systems trustworthy?

You will answer these questions by studying various aspects of trust and
trustworthiness in technological contexts.
In particular you will:

   - conduct empirical research among technology developers on the
   trustworthiness of technology:
      - design and implement surveys, and conduct qualitative analysis on
      how technology developers see the trustworthiness of technology
they build
      and operate, and how they implement and balance different
sources of trust
      in technological systems (system design, governance, legal compliance,
   - conduct empirical research among technology users on the topic of
      - design and implement surveys among users of blockchain based
      systems on the issue of trust and trustworthiness;
      - conduct a qualitative analysis of the discourses around trust and
   - work on the problem of institutional embeddedness of decentralized
   technical systems:
      - conduct empirical research on how existing societal stakeholders
      (such as businesses, the media, various professional groups, regulators,
      policymakers) see the trustworthiness of decentralized technologies, and
      their ability to produce trust;
      - study the institutional change that may be necessary to better
      incorporate technical trust producers in systems of accountability and
   - work with legal scholars on new policy proposals aimed at building
   trust in decentralized technologies, and between users of such systems;
   - contribute to the development of research methodology and
   - organize workshops to discuss and disseminate the research findings.


Candidates are expected to meet the following requirements.

You have:

   - an interest in researching social diffusion/application/regulation of
   digital technologies;
   - a background in one or more of the following disciplines:
      - Sociology;
      - Economics;
      - Political Science
      - Computer Science,
      - Media studies

with special focus on sociology of organizations, sociology or economics of
innovation, or science and technology studies;

IVIR is the host institution of the Blockchain & Society Policy Research
Lab (https://blockchain-society.science/) , founded in 2018 with the help
of an ERC starting Grant by Dr Balázs Bodó. The work of the Lab focuses on
the regulatory challenges around the latest iteration of decentralized
technologies, such as blockchains and DLTs. We use the term ‘blockchain
technology’ as a placeholder concept for technological ordering regimes,
which, among others, promise impartial, automated, and ex-ante enforcement
of technology-encoded rules and norms, and thus have the potential to
enable new forms of trust-dependent activities. While blockchain
technologies go through the cycles of hypes and busts, the ongoing
innovation in this domain produces often highly contentious, and
increasingly plausible visions of how our social, political, economic
relationships could be re-organized.

Please apply here:



Balázs Bodó, PhD

Associate Professor

Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam


Blockchain & Society Policy Research Lab (funded by an ERC Starting Grant)


Latest publications:

Bodó, B. (2019). Selling News to Audiences – A Qualitative Inquiry into the
Emerging Logics of Algorithmic News Personalization in European Quality
News Media. Digital Journalism.

Bodó, B., & Giannopoulou, A. (2019). The logics of technology
decentralization: the case of Distributed Ledger Technologies. In M.
Ragnedda, & G. Destefanis (Eds.), Blockchain and Web 3.0: Social, Economic,
and Technological Challenges Routledge.

Bodó, B., & van de Velde, R. N. (2019). Big Data & Data Science in
information law and policy research. In H. Van den Bulck, M. Puppis, K.
Donders, & L. Van Audenhove (Eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Methods for Media
Policy Research (pp. 347-366). Palgrave Macmillan

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