Professor Emeritus in Computer Ethics at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility Visits Orkney College UHI

De Montfort University Emeritus Professor Simon Rogerson visits Orkney College UHI

Last week Orkney College UHI welcomed Simon Rogerson, Professor Emeritus in Computer Ethics at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University. 


Professor Rogerson came to Orkney College UHI to hold a series of lectures on the benefits of technology, the ethical questions surrounding the use of it and how society could limit the harm from the misuse of technology.



Teaching Computing Ethics was a very interesting lecture on the software development industry and the ethical practices and considerations of software developers.  Using real world case studies Prof. Rogerson looked at the roles and responsibilities of the developers who produced unethical software, sometimes at the behest of their employers.  From there discussions moved onto the need to safeguard the most vulnerable in society from unscrupulous software and how we must embed the teaching of ethics, and conscientious development practice into our next rgeneration of developers so that a greater level of trust can be established between developers, vendors and end users.



This well-attended public lecture focused on tourism and technology, starting off from a brief history of tourism in Orkney right through to current day, Prof Rogerson looked at how technology has influenced tourism every step of the way.  From trains to rockets, telegrams to virtual reality, technology was shown to have impacted the economies and society of rural locations through the centuries.  Using case studies of Thomas Cook as well as talking about contemporary developments in technology, Prof. Rogerson offered some fascinating insights into how potentially to boost tourism in the highlands and islands for the demographics not normally associated with travelling to these destinations.



Digital Technology and the data shadow -  This workshop discussed the impact of data upon society and individuals. Using the example of a person who went ‘viral’ after being filmed in an embarrassing/controversial video, attendees discussed matters such as data consent, the role of social media companies, legislation (such as Right To Be Forgotten) and the need to educate society on the potential harm of misuse of data. The session closed with a call for three issues that would need to be addressed in order to limit the harm of data and social media – education, legislation and technical solutions.


Professor Rogerson said;


“I came to Orkney College UHI to share my ideas on how to achieve the acceptable use of technology across the whole of society. Tourism technology seemed to be a useful application given the economic importance of tourism to Orkney. Little attention has been given to rural islands so there is a great opportunity to change that and make a difference."


“I have been particularly impressed by the open mindedness of staff at Orkney College UHI. Especially the acceptance of an interdisciplinary approach and belief that education is integrated across ranges of age and ability. For me, it has been  a memorable and inspirational visit to Orkney College UHI.”


Orkney College UHI Principal Professor Eddie Abbott-Halpin commented;


“It was a pleasure to have Professor Rogerson visit and deliver a series of though provoking and insightful lecturers and workshops. He is an eminent colleague with whom I share many research interests, who over many years has been a leading thinker, and was the first Professor of Computing Ethics in the UK, so to have him visit at his own cost to work with us has been a huge contribution. I am hoping he will return and work with us further on new projects and to share his expertise.”