- I am the Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications, Associate Professor and Director of the Center Media, Technology and Democracy in the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.
- I was previously an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia and the Research Director of Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia School of Journalism where I led a research program on digital technology and journalism.
- I am the author of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2015) and the co-editor of The World Won’t Wait: Why Canada Needs to Rethink its Foreign Policies (University of Toronto Press, 2015, with Roland Paris) and Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State (Columbia University Press, 2016, with Emily Bell).
- My main research projects at the moment are (1) a project exploring domestic and international platform governance policies and coordination, and (2) a large-scale digital ecosystem monitoring project for the upcoming Canadian election, called the Digital Democracy Project combined with a collaborative research grant program called the Digital Election Research Challenge.
- I am currently writing a book with Emily Bell on Silicon Valley, journalism and democracy, which is in contract with Yale University Press and will be published in 2020.
- I am working on a range of projects on the ethics, civic impact and governance of emerging technologies. I co-authored a report for the Public Policy Forum Democracy Divided: Countering Misinformation and Hate in the Digital Public Sphere. Recent opeds in the Global and Mail outline some of this work: Big Tech’s net loss, Ethics and governance are getting lost in the AI frenzy, ‘Fake news 2.0’: A threat to Canada’s democracy, Is Facebook a threat to democracy?, The era of Big Tech self-governance has come to an end; and, We can save democracy from destructive digital threats, and my Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism details some of this work.
- I have recently published two reports on the state of journalism. The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Re-engineered Journalism with Emily Bell, and Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Information Age, on which I was a research principal.
- I founded an international affairs media platform called OpenCanada.org. This site is an experiment in building a community at the intersection of research, journalism and public policy.
- I have worked on a range of projects to do with the ethics and potential journalistic utility of virtual and augmented reality. This has included a report, Virtual Reality Journalism, and a VR documentary for Frontline PBS, Ebola Outbreak: A Virtual Journey, which won a 2016 Peabody-Facebook Future of Media Award and was nominated for a 2016 Emmy Award. This essay in the Columbia Journalism Review, Can Journalism be Virtual? explores some of the wider implications of the technology.
- I am a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a Fellow at the Public Policy Forum and serve on the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
My PhD was on the concept of human security, exploring how mapping and spatially analyzing local vulnerability data can help us better understand the nature of extreme insecurity. My current personal research, however, now focuses on the intersection of digital media, technology and public policy.
I use this site as a contact point and as an aggregator of my academic work and broader writing.
A bit more officially:
Taylor Owen is the Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications and Associate Professor in the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University. He was previously Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, and the Research Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University where he led a program studying the impact of digital technology on the practice of journalism, and has held research positions at Yale University, The London School of Economics and The International Peace Research Institute. His Doctorate is from the University of Oxford and he has been a Trudeau and Banting scholar, an Action Canada and Public Policy Forum Fellow, the 2016 Public Policy Forum Emerging Leader, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and on the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). He is the founder of the international affairs media platform OpenCanada.org, and he is the author, most recently, of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2015) and the co-editor of The World Won’t Wait: Why Canada Needs to Rethink its Foreign Policies (University of Toronto Press, 2015, with Roland Paris), Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State (Columbia University Press, 2017, with Emily Bell) and The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Re-enginnered Journalism (Tow Center 2017, with Emily Bell). His forthcoming book on Silicon Valley, journalism and democracy will be published by Yale University Press in early 2019. His work can be found at www.taylorowen.com and @taylor_owen.