School of Social and Political Science

Vassilis Galanos

Job Title

Teaching Fellow and Research Fellow


Room number


Building (Address)

27-28 George Square

Street (Address)

George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)

United Kingdom

Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

Expertise, Sociology of expectations, futures, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, digital media, Digital Cultures, Social Informatics and Innovation, Sociocybernetics, cybernetics, Media and society, media studies, Information Society Theories, Library and Information Science, expert studies, Science and technology studies





I am currently a Teaching Fellow in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies convening the course Internet, Society and Economy, and co-convening Understanding Technology and Data, Design, and the City. I am also a Research Fellow in Sociology, member of the Data Civics project (, facilitating discussion between community-led regeneration and data-driven innovation, and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Engineering, member of The New Real Observatory (, responsible for the evaluation of artworks which interrogate the human-algorithm interface.

In my doctoral project, I investigated the social dimensions of artificial intelligence and robotics. More specifically, I explore issues of expertise (who is entitled to speak about AI and robotics?) and expectations (how do future visions and imaginaries shape current discourses on AI/robotics in research, policy, and their public understanding?). My thesis, interrogated historically (via document analysis) and empirically (via interviews with AI specialists) the dynamics between AI terminology negotiations, AI promising, AI funding strategies, and AI policy from the perspective of AI technical research cultures. The final version is expected to be available very soon, and I am open to discussion about any topic related directly or tangentially to the historical sociology of AI. 

My other academic interests include, but are not limited to, cybernetics, (digital) media theory, media archeology, information science, continental and oriental philosophy (sometimes identifying as a Deleuzian, other times as a Heideggerian), invented/parody religions, sexbots, and the ethics of digital sampling in music (I am also a music nerd/collector, looking for opportunities to write about the digital/analogue interfaces in music).

With my good colleagues and friends SJ Bennett, Benedetta Catanzariti, Yazmin Morlet Corti, and Auste Simkute, we run the Edinburgh-based AI Ethics & Society research group:

I tutored the undergraduate Honours course Internet & Society, and the first year course Technology in Society for several years, while I assisted with Gender and Environment and Science, Nature, and Environment. With my colleague Fiona Coyle, we served as STIS's PhD community's representatives for three years. I also happen to be among the chosen few who manage our department's Twitter account (@UoE_STIS), so if you are a member of staff, student or member of the broader STIS family and have material you'd like us to tweet about (eg. publications, events, etc), send me an email.

I collect books, comic books, vinyl records, and beautiful beer cans. I miss backpacking and the good days of CouchSurfing. I abstain from meat and pronouns (but if you want to use one, anything will suffice, such as it/they/she//ve/zhe/he). 


2017-2022 PhD in Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. Supervised by Dr Gill Haddow and Prof Robin Williams. Thesis title: “Expectations and Expertise in Artificial Intelligence: Specialist Views and Historical Perspectives on Conceptualisation, Promises, Funding, and Policy.”

April 2020: Exploring Japanese Avant-Garde Art Through Butoh Dance. Online course at Keio University, Tokyo.

October 2018-January 2019 ESRC Business Booster "Working with Business" Training Programme in Glagow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen, funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.

2016-2017 MSc by Research in Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies in the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. Supervised by Dr Catherine Heeney. MScRes thesis title: “Negative Portrayals of Artificial Intelligence and Robots in Online Press: An STS Critical Approach to the Singularity Argument.” Courses taken: Research Skills in Social Sciences: Data Collection, Core Quantitative Analysis I+II, Science, Knowledge and Expertise.

2012-2014 MSc in Information Science and Cultural Communications. Royal School of Library and Information Science, University of Copenhagen. Master thesis: “Information Revolution: Postlude to a Past Future.” Supervised by Dr. Jens-Erik Mai, available at taken: Information Ethics, Systems-User Evaluation, Digital Memory, Knowledge Management, Urban Culture, Information Retrieval and Interaction, Information and Cultural Studies: Theories and Traditions

2005-2010 BA in Librarianship and Information Systems. Department of Library Science and Information Systems, School of Administration and Economy, Alexander Technological Education Institution of Thessaloniki. Bachelor thesis: "The Impact of Information on Cultural Product." Supervised by Dr. Stella Korobilli.

Awards and funding

2022 Nominated twice for the EUSA’s Teaching Awards. 

2019 Sue Grant Award (University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Sciences)

2013 Den Sociale Pris (University of Copenhagen, Royal School of Library and Information Science)

Teaching experience

2022-present: Teaching Fellow responsible for the PG course Internet, Society & Economy responsible for course organising, lecturing, administrating, and marking. Co-convening PG course Understanding Technology, and UG courses Internet and Society, and Data, Design, and the City. 

2021-2022: Tutor (Teaching Assistant) in the UG courses Technology in Society and Science, Nature & Environment. Marker for the PG course Understanding Technology. 

2020-2021: Tutor in the undergraduate Honours course Internet & Society, and the postgraduate course Internet, Society, and Economy while assisting with Gender and Environment as a marker.

2017-2020: Tutor in the undergraduate course Technology in Society with emphasis on student-centred learning.


[Feel free to contact me if you require copies of any paper]

Peer Reviewed Journal Publications


02/12/2021: Oda, Takaharu & Galanos, Vassilis. “Dialogues concerning Dreams and Demonstration: Lessons from Jaina Perspectives”. oxford public philosophy 2. [Open Access] Available at: 

08/06/2020: Tekken’s Mokujin and the Disjunctive Synthesis of Gender Performativity. Press Start 6(1). [Open Access] Available at:

27/08/2019: Dwivedi, Y. K., Hughes, L., Ismagilova, E., Aarts, G., Coombs, C., Crick, T., ... & Galanos, V. (2019). "Artificial Intelligence (AI): Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Emerging Challenges, Opportunities, and Agenda for Research, Practice and Policy." International Journal of Information Management (in press, corrected proof). Available at:

06/09/2018: “Exploring Expanding Expertise: Artificial Intelligence as an Existential Threat and the Role of Prestigious Commentators.” Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 31(4), pp 421-432. Available at:

01/11/2017: “Singularitarianism and Schizophrenia.” AI & Society 32(4), pp 573–590, Springer-Verlag London. Available at:

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters and Proceedings Publications

2022: “Nomadic Artificial Intelligence and Royal Research Councils: Curiosity-Driven Research Against Imperatives Implying Imperialism” In Maurizio Tinnirello and Roman V. Yampolskiy (eds.) The Global Politics of Artificial Intelligence. Chapman & Hall/CRC AI and Robotics Series, Taylor & Francis. 

2021: “Lafcadio Hearn and his Evolutionary Eco-Ethics in the 21st Century: Travelling through the Uncanny Valley of Exoticism in Robotic and Ghostly Japan.” Culture - Journal of Culture in Tourism, Αrt and Education 3. Available at: 

2020: Galanos, V. and Reisel, M. “Assessing the Japanese Turn in AI and Robot Ethics: Extracting Meaningful Principles Between Exoticism and Empiricism in the Case of AIBO”. In IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers HCC 2020: Human-Centric Computing in a Data-Driven Society pp 141-157. Available at:

04/08/2020: "Towards a Chronological Cartography of the Uncanny Valley and its Uncanny Coincidences" In Pippa Goldschmidt, Gill Haddow, and Fadhila Mazanderani (eds.) Uncanny Bodies. Edinburgh: Luna Press Publishing - Academia Lunace.

16/12/2019: "Teratological Aspects in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: From Monstrous Threats to Rorschach Opportunities" In Diego Compagna and Stefanie Steinhart (eds.) Monsters, Monstrosities, and the Monstrous in Culture and Society. Delaware and Malaga: Vernon Press.

13/04/2019: "Blended Automation: The Language-Game of Psychoanalytic Automatism and Cybernetic Automata" In Jordi Vallverdú and Vincent C. Müller (eds) Blended Cognition: The Robotic Challenge, Springer Series in Cognitive and Neural Systems book series (SSCNS, volume 12), Springer, Cham. Available at:

26/08/2018: “Artificial Intelligence does not Exist: Lessons from Shared Cognition and the Opposition to the Nature/Nurture Divide.” Proceedings of HCC13: This Changes Everything panel in IFIP TC9 Human Choice and Computers Conference, part of the 24th IFIP World Computer Congress: Information Processing in an Increasingly Connected World: Opportunities and Threats in Poznań, Poland. Available at:

25-27/01/2017: “The Double Meaning of ‘Replacement’ and the Moral Value of Human and Nonhuman Inforgs: Crossroads of Philosophy of Information and Actor-Network Theory” Improving Quality of Life Through Information: Proceedings of the XXV Bobcatsss Symposium, Tampere, Finland, January 2017. Available at:

Thessaloniki 02-07/07/2014: IACAP 2014 “Floridi/Flusser: Parallel Lives in Hyper/Post-History”. Chapter in: Müller, Vincent C. (ed.) (2016) “Computing and Philosophy”. Heidelberg: Springer (Synthese Library). Available at:

Thessaloniki 24/01/2015: 6th Conference of the Philosophein: Episteme, Evnoia, Parrhesia journal: “Aristotle: Human, Science, Metaphysics” “Post-Aristotelian Proposals in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Becoming-Slave and Becoming-Free when Psyche isn't the Primary Value” (in Greek) In: Vavouras, I. (ed.) (2016) Philosophein: Episteme, Evnoia, Parrhesia v. 13. Available at:

Barcelona 29-31/01/2013 Bobcatsss 2014 Library (R)evolution: Promoting Sustainable Information Practices. “The Librarian's Equilibrium: Cycles and Epicycles, Centers and Epicenters of Information Revolution”. Available at

Ankara 23-24/01/2013 Bobcatsss 2013: From Collections to Connections: Turning Libraries “InsideOut” “Dialectic Relations of Nomadism and Idiotism in the Post-Modern Global Village: The New Form of 'City' in the Internet Space” Available at:

Science Communication

06/11/2020: Galanos, V., Bennet, S., Aylett, R. and Hemment, D. AI Myths Debunked: Unpacking Five Common Misconceptions. Contribution to The New Real project, supported by the Experiential AI research group at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. Available at:

Book review

03/01/2021: Thomas Tsakalakis: Political Correctness - a Sociocultural Black Hole, (Routledge) 2021. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice volume 24, 399–401. Available at:


“Towards Human-Robot Ethnography: Two Short Lessons from iCub's Absence and Connectivity.” Self-published paper, originally an essay written for the needs of a course in Ethnography. Available at:

“Digital sampling in contemporary music: Ethical issues and dilemmas of 'loop digging.'” Self-published paper, originally an essay written for the needs of a course in Information Ethics. Available at: Reviewed at:

Presentations at Conferences/Symposia and Invited Talks

15/01/2022: McFall, L, McGowan, A. & Galanos, V. ‘"We don't do digital, we dig it all": Experimenting with ‘Data Civics’ methods to support urban regeneration in Granton, Edinburgh’. Featured presentation following the ‘The Culture & Communities Mapping Project’ book launch event hosted by Morgan Currie and Melisa Miranda Correa. 

01/06/2022: “Why so Few AI Practitioners in AI Policy? Specialist Views on Questions of Control, Regulation, and Participation in Highly Promissory Environments.” at panel “STI policies and coproduction” (also chair). Eu-SPRI 2022 conference Challenging Science and Innovation Policy, Utrecht, Netherlands.


20/10/2021: “The Interplay of Mythological/Religious Narratives and Contemporary Social Shaping of Artificial Intelligence” invited talk at the Can Science Create Societies?, Colloquia in Intelligent Systems, Measurements, and Actuators (CISMA) Webinar Series. 


06-09/10/2021: “Expectations And Expertise: Can STS And AI Benefit from each other?” at panel “Metaexpertise? STS, Metascience, and Data Science - I: The Technologies of Meta-expertise” at the 2021 Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), Toronto, 6-9 October, 2021. 

06-09/10/2021: Detfurth, N. E., Baumgartner, R, & Galanos, V.  “AI in Medicine: from Expert Systems to Deep Learning and Algorithm-driven Health Care” at panel “The Prediction Factor: Medical Decision in the Age of Big Data - II: Concerns about the prediction factor: regulation in question?” at the 2021 Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), Toronto, 6-9 October, 2021. 


20-21/05/2021: “Expectations and Expertise: can Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) learn and benefit from each other?” In panel: “The future of STS” at the Nordic Science and Technology Studies Conference 2021: STS and the Future as a Matter of Collective Concern, Copenhagen Business School, May 20-21, 2021 

13/03/2021: “Lafcadio Hearn and the Eco-ethics of Rinri as Artificial Intelligence Ethics: Travelling through the Uncanny Valley of Exoticism and Empiricism in Robotic and Ghostly Japan.” Invited talk at the webinar Lafcadio Hearn’s Journey into Culture, co-hosted by the Department of Tourism Management, School of Economics and Business at the University of Patras and the School Life and Education Museum at the National Centre of Research and Preservation of School Material, Athens, Greece. Available at:

12/03/2021: “Artificial Intelligence: the hype, the hope, the horror, and the journey to the AIknown.” Invited talk at the Scottish Seniors Computer Club’s Musselburgh group, Edinburgh.

03-05/03/2021: Galanos, V. & Williams, R. “Towards a Responsible Framework. Machine Learning in Radiology: Balancing Between Accuracy and Instability and Learning from Past Pitfalls.” Presentation at the Discourses and Knowledge Production panel, part of the Online Conference Fair Medicine and Artificial Intelligence organised by the Center for Gender and Diversity Research at the University of Tübingen.

26/02/2021: “The Role of Narratives in the Social Shaping of AI, Digital Realities, and Blockchain 

infusing innofusion with mythology, science fiction, psychology, and policy.” Invited talk at the Digital Inclusivity and Blockchain Event, organised by the School of Management and nChain at the University of Swansea.

27/01/2021: “The interplay of expectations and expertise in the construction of artificial intelligence (AI): insights from historical, sociological, and political groundings.” Invited talk at the Digital Future for Business & Society: Perspectives on AI Challenges and Opportunities seminar series co-hosted by the School of Management’s Emerging Markets Research Centre (EMaRC) at the University of Swansea and the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune, India at the University of Swansea. Available at:

15/12/2020: "Homo Viator, where are we going? Nomadic life in platform economy - hitchhiking, backpacking, CouchSurfing, AirBnB, and Booking" (In Greek). Invited talk at the course Introduction to Tourism at the Department of Tourism Management, School of Economics and Business at the University of Patras.

08/12/2020: "Technoscientific knowledge, artificial intelligence, and ethics: Problems, preditctions, promises, prophecies, and proactive thinking" (In Greek). Invited talk at the course Bioethics at the Department of Communication and Media Studies at the School of Economics and Political Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

20/10/2020: "Technoscientific knowledge and machine learning: Challenges and opportunities, judgement and reckoning, accuracy and instability." Invited talk at the postgraduate course Foundation in Responsible Research and Innovation, taught at part of the UKRI CDT in Biomedical AI.

29/11/2019: "Journey into the AIknown: Experiential Questions Concerning Expanding Experts, Exponential Expectations, and Expatriated Researchers" Invited lecture for the Welfare Access Through Technology research group (WATT) at the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy at the Faculty of Social Sciences, OsloMet, Norway.

06/11/2019: "From Hysterical AI to Historical AI: Lessons from AI’s history, or, How to Survive a New AI Winter" Introductory talk prior to the AI Ethics & Society research group's screening of BBC TV’s June 1973 Lighthill Controversy Debate INSPACE, Informatics Forum, 1 Crichton St, University of Edinburgh.

04/09/2019: "The Inadequacy of Laboratory Studies and the Usefulness of Interviews in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics" Presentation at the panel Lab Studies Reloaded? Machine Learning, Ethnography, and Critical STS as part of 4S 2019, New Orleans, organised by the Society for Social Studies of Science.

20/05/2019: "Questions Concerning Fair Machines: AI ethics turning Japanese, I think they’re turning Japanese, I really think so (maybe)" Presentation at the panel Fair machines: Student perspective on Data Justice and Ethics (High School Yards Teaching Centre, G.02) as part of the Data Justice Week - with support from the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) and the Centre for Research in Digital Education.

16/05/2019: "Journey into the AIknown: Hypes, Hopes, Horrors of the Singularity" Presentation at Merging Human and Machines: Not-So-Far-Futures, a series of brief presentations and facilitated panel Q&A delivered as part of the Scottish Government's Learning at Work Week, hosted by Robert Pembleton and organised by Dave McNab.

09/05/2019: "Journey into the AIknown: Experiential Questions Concerning Expanding Experts, Exponential Expectations, and Expatriated Researchers" Presentation at the 2019 STIS/ISSTI PhD Days at St Cecilia’s Hall - Concert Hall, Edinburgh, 9-10 May 2019.

29/03/2019: "Beyond Robodemons and AIngels: Expanding Expertise, Extreme Expectations, Polarised Promises, Hypes, Hopes, Horrors from the Early Steps of AI to the Singularity." Invited lecture at the seminar AI: Demon or Angel. The Singularity, part of the Controversies in the Data Society seminar series, organised by Dr James Stewart with the support of the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI).

22/03/2019: "Beyond Robodemons and AIngels: Expanding Expertise, Extreme Expectations, Polarised Promises, Hypes, Hopes, Horrors from the Early Steps of AI to the Singularity." Invited talk at the panel Is the Hype in A.I. Justified?, chaired by Dr James Stewart and organised by Jonathan Smellie, together with Dr Guido Sanguinetti, Dr Ben Alison, and Dr Ian Poole, Friday 22nd March 2019, Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh. Available at:

17/12/2018: “Exploring expanding expertise: artificial intelligence as an existential threat and the role of prestigious commentators, 2014–2018.” Presentation at the Science in Public 2018 Conference Monday 17th to Wednesday 19th December, Cardiff University.

16/07/2018: “Reflections on the Uncanny Valley.” Presentation at the Uncanny Bodies Workshop (co-organised by Dr Gill Haddow), 16-17 July 2018, Edinburgh.

28/06/2018: “The Moral Question Concerning Sex (and) Robots: Nonhuman Liberation from Viral Diseases or Ultimate Objectification?” Presentation at the Sex, Death, Disease, and Conflict: The State and Morality 1864-1964 symposium Thursday 28th June 2018, Newcastle University.

18/05/2018: “Extreme Expectations and Expanding Expertise in Policy Documents Concerned with Artificial Intelligence in the UK, US, and EU: A Preliminary Taxonomy, and an Invitation for Empirical Work.” Presentation at the Technology and Innovation Management session at the 24th Annual SPRU PhD Forum, 17-18 May 2018, University of Sussex. (An expanded version of this presentation is forthcoming as a paper in Technology Analysis and Strategic Mangement).

19/02/2018: “The Luciferian Nature of Information and the Informational Nature of Lucifer: A Discordian Understanding of the Cryptic Resurgence of Satanic Principles in the Information Age.” Presentation at The Postmodern Occult: A Witchcraft Symposium, University of Edinburgh.

05-06/12/2017: “Sociology of Extreme Expectations: The Case of Artificial Intelligence”. Poster presented at PACTMAN: Trust, Privacy and Consent in Future Pervasive Environments (EPSRC-funded project on Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security in the Digital Economy.)

Other Related Activities, Public and Academic Service

2020-2022: Reviewer for the journals AI & Society; Science, Technology & Human Values; Technology Analysis & Strategic Management;  Computer Law and Security Review.

23-25/11/2021: Expert intervention at the European Trade Union Institute's “AI in the Workplace: Data and Algorithms” training workshop 

26-27/11/2020: Worked as expert foresight advisor at the European Trade Union Institute's "ETUI Strategic Foresight Project - scenarios workshop."

18/11/2019: Inviting and chairing the talk "Botanic Gardens: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" by David Ingram as part of the STIS Seminar Series, at Violet Laidlaw Room, Crystal Macmillan Building, University of Edinburgh.

06/11/2019: How to Survive a New AI Winter: Lessons from AI’s history (Screening of the BBC TV debate between John McCarthy, Donald Michie, Richard Gregory, and Sir James Lighthill). Part of AI Ethics and Society research group, INSPACE, Informatics Forum, 1 Crichton St. University of Edinburgh.

04/04/2019: Screening of a theatrical performance of R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots by Karel Čapek and moderation of follow-up discussion on dystopian futures and promissory fallacies of AI. Part of AI Ethics and Society reading/discussion group organised by Sarah Bennett, Thursday 4th April 2019, Newhaven Lecture Theatre, University of Edinburgh.

2018-present: Co-organising numerous events, a conference (Critical Perspective on AI Ethics (CPAIE2020). and a colloquium with the AI Ethics & Society team:

January-June 2018: Co-establishment with Dr Stephen Harwood (Business School) and Lukas Engelmann (STIS) of the Cybernetics Today reading group, which ran for 5 sessions during the second term and led to the emergence of an interdisciplinary cluster expected to facilitate more activities in the future.

Further information, art, photography, and music

Sometimes I take pictures and I sketch.

Some of my pictures have been featured on online publications. Some include:

Biegler, P. (2012). How We Evolved to Reject Climate Science. The Conversation. 

Pop, E. (2012). A Letter from New York: Romania’s Winter of Discontent. Transregional Center of Democratic Studies. The New School. 

Also featured on the Greek magazine Tachydromos and have exhibited three times in Greece.

The following YouTube channel is my attempt at saving rare musical archives from oblivion.

Several people insisted that I should put here the link to this amazing moment in my life when I had the opportunity to jam with the legendary jazz band Sun Ra Arkestra back in 2010, so, there you go:

Comics and illustrations

01/06/2019-ongoing: I have been submitting short theoretical essays and 2-page black-and-white comics of nonlinear narrative to the bimonthly sociological, political, and artistic magazine Yusra [ISSN 2653-9438, in Greek]


01/05/2020: I have contributed with illustrations to the first two parts of the Adventures of Another Gringo who Wanted to be a Shaman novel-part fiction memoirs by Nathan D. Horowitz. and

Research interests

Expertise Sociology of expectations and futures Artificial Intelligence and Robotics digital media Digital Cultures Social Informatics and Innovation Sociocybernetics cybernetics Media and society media studies Information Society Theories Library and Information Science expert studies Science and technology studies

Research activities

With my good colleagues and friends Benedetta Catanzariti, Yazmin Morlet Corti, and Sarah Bennett, we are the founding members of the Edinburgh-based AI Ethics & Society research group:

In 2020, we organised the successful conference Critical Perspective on AI Ethics (CPAIE2020).




Staff Hours and Guidance

Email is the best way to approach me. Allow a maximum of seven days to respond, although I aim at responding in the same day.