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Nancy Baym, Microsoft Research, has been appointed honorary doctor at the IT Faculty


Nancy Baym, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in New England, USA, has been appointed honorary doctor at the IT Faculty, University of Gothenburg.

Nancy Baym, Microsoft Research, USAHighly influential pioneer in the field of internet research: Nancy Baym, Boston, USA. PHOTO: Kelly Davidson Studio

Dr Nancy Baym has a long career as a pioneer in the field of Internet research, where she is one of the world's most influential researchers. She is formerly a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas and currently a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Since the beginning of the 1990s, Dr Baym has conducted pioneering work, studying the impact of emerging technologies on conditions for communication, interaction and everyday practices, and on how the internet and mobile communication are reconfiguring our identities and personal relationships.

Ylva Hård af Segerstad, associate professor at the Department of Applied IT, will be the host for the newly appointed honorary doctor.

– Ever since I started as a PhD student in 1998 I have on a regular basis been visiting the conference Association of Internet Researchers, AoIR, which Nancy Baym is a co-founder and former president of, says Ylva Hård af Segerstad. Nancy has also an award of her own, The Nancy Baym Annual Book Award. I met Nancy for the first time at AoIR in Minneapolis and we have continued to meet and talk every time I have been visiting the conference. She is a bright star in the research sky and very rewarding to discuss with.

– During the last AoIR conference in Montreal we talked about the possibilities of developing our collaboration, and I then got the idea to try to bring Nancy to Sweden as an honorary doctor at University of Gothenburg.

– It is a feather in our cap to be able to tie such a distinguished researcher as Nancy Baum closer to our department. Nancy’s research area is something many of the researchers at our department can relate to and we see it as a big opportunity to develop collaboration and exchange with her and her research environment. Nancy's involvement in our activities at the department will be an asset for both us as researchers and our students. She is an incredibly sharp and enthusiastic researcher, inspiring to listen to and honoring to cooperate with.

Nancy Baym has previously been doing research on musicians' use of the Internet and social media – both for marketing and for the contact with their fans for example – and since several of the musicians are Swedes, Sweden has to some extent already been the arena for Nancy’s research. Nancy is very honored and happy about the appointment as honorary doctor at University of Gothenburg, according to Ylva.

Nancy Baym will be awarded the honorary doctorate at the IT Faculty, University of Gothenburg, on the 18th of October, 2019.


Text: Catharina Jerkbrant