Alison Gerber

Assistant Professor in sociology at Lund University

Membership period 2022–2027

How do scientists use new kinds of images to show what they know, and to convince diverse others to accept the evidence that they offer? Images like brain scans and botanical illustrations are central to scientific practice. But today, accessible technologies can create lifelike algorithmically generated images – photo-like pictures made not with lenses but through the manipulation of digital data. These new kinds of images have introduced distinctive challenges to our ability to trust the things we can see with our own eyes.

My research is focused on culture, science, and public life, with a special emphasis on new kinds of evidence. Together with a team of collaborators I study algorithmically generated images and emerging digital 3D methods for documentation, visualization, and analysis as they move between science and the law. We follow researchers and practitioners as they develop manipulable, immersive environments to document and analyze archaeological excavations and crime scenes alike.

We’re interested in questions about the ways that different kinds of people use images in their work together; about the ways that histories of photography and other imaging technologies influence our uses and understanding of new kinds of images; and about the specific features that make new kinds of images more (or less) credible for different audiences. The research aims to help us to understand the processes that let us believe our eyes (or prompt us to question them) when we encounter new kinds of imagery.


1. and 2. Photo: Erik Thor/YAS (Click to enlarge.)

Alison Gerber Foto: Sindre Lo Gerber

Click for high resolution press photo. Photo: Sindre Lo Gerber


Born: 10 March 1979
Interests: The woods; music, art, and film; food, family, and friends.
Other: I ferment enough foods that my kitchen always smells like a bit of a project, unfortunately.

I joined the Young Academy to help make Swedish academic research stronger and more inclusive.”

Young Academy of Sweden
c/o The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Box 50005
SE-104 05 Stockholm

+ 46 (0)8 673 9500

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