Trending information interactions to be explored by leading researcher

The way individuals engage with information will be explored by a university professor at an event in Aberdeen next week.

Professor Simon BurnettProfessor Simon Burnett from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Department of Information Management (iSchool) will deliver a public lecture on Wednesday, March 16 at 6pm, which will look at the divisions between our recreational and functional interactions with information. 

The free event, which is taking place at the Garthdee campus, is part of a new series of professorial lectures announced by RGU where a number of its experts discuss topical research issues.

Professor Burnett was part of the team of RGU researchers which ran an analytical study investigating Twitter responses to televised political debates, including the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and the 2015 General Election.

The lecture will draw on research from those studies, proposing that we have now moved into a post-utilitarian period of information usage where we engage with information in recreational as well as functional contexts simultaneously.

Commenting on his lecture, Dr Burnett, who is a Professor of Information Science and the Research Director at the iSchool, said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share the findings of some collaborative research work which has been conducted at RGU.

"One of the topics I’ll be discussing will be the role of humour in the Scottish Referendum, so I hope the lecture will be both thought provoking and laughter provoking too.”

Professor Burnett began his career as a website designer, and went on to establish the Centre for Knowledge Management at RGU in 2000. His research has focussed on the use of narratives for sharing knowledge, organisational storytelling and the use of social media in professional and socio-political contexts.

In addition to his role at RGU, Prof. Burnett is an Associate Director of the Scottish Graduate School for Social Science, the largest of the Economic and Social Research Council’s doctoral training centres.

The lecture, which is entitled ‘Information as Recreation’, will begin at 6pm in the Sir Ian Wood Building located at RGU’s Garthdee campus. There will be an opportunity for discussion led by questions and answers, which will be followed by light refreshments.

For more information and to book a place at the lecture, please email Anna Duthie via or call 01224 262210. 

Release by
Anna DuthieCommunications Officer