Keynote speaker

Dr Niels Wouters

Dr Niels Wouters

Niels Wouters is Head of Research and Emerging Practice for Science Gallery Melbourne, and Research Fellow in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Melbourne.

In his role, Niels supports academic colleagues in exploring the collision between arts and science as a mechanism to engage the public with creativity and innovation, and expose the breadth of STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). He also leads the development of Science Gallery Melbourne’s digital portfolio.

His own research practice in Human-Computer Interaction revolves around the democratization of technology in order to achieve tangible benefits for society. Most recently, Niels led a study on the ethics of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making, empowering the public to participate in the complex discussion about norms and values that inform the use of emerging technologies.

Niels is an avid science communicator by way of publications about technology for social good in relevant media outlets and frequent public speaking engagements including for adolescents and young adults. Niels’ work is regularly featured in national and international media, highlighting the impact of new technology on urban life. Most recently, this has included pieces in The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Washington Times, World Economic Forum, Dazed Digital and CNN.

Before permanently migrating to Australia, Niels acquired a PhD in Architectural Engineering. The research examined social and architectural qualities of digital media in public space – particularly relating to the role of screen-based technology and artificial light. He also holds degrees in Architectural Design, Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction.