I am an Associate Professor at University of Washington’s Information School. I am currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society and Stanford’s Department of Communication and HAI. I can be reached by email at megfinn at uw dot edu. This website provides an overview of my work. If you would like to read any of my CV or publications, please don’t hesitate to email me.

My work examines relations among institutions, infrastructures, and practices in the production, circulation, and use of information. I examine these themes in a book, called Documenting Aftermath: Information Infrastructures in the Wake of Disasters, with MIT Press (October 2018). The book is an examination of how changing public information infrastructures shaped people’s experience of earthquakes in Northern California in 1868, 1906, and 1989 followed by an analysis of the institutions, policies, and technologies that shape today’s postdisaster information landscape. I argue that information orders—complex constellations of institutions, technologies, and practices—influence how we act in, experience, and document events. What I term event epistemologies, constituted both by historical documents and by researchers who study them, explain how information orders facilitate particular possibilities for knowledge.

I build on the work in Documenting Aftermath in several new collaborative projects:

In addition to my work on infrastructures in times of crisis, I do historical and contemporary empirical studies of responsible computing and data governance:

Throughout my work, I bring together perspectives and approaches from information studies, science and technology studies, and the history of media, information, and communication. My research engages questions that require historical and contemporary analysis, including: How do changing technological infrastructures, information practices, and technology policies shape one another?

I was a faculty member of the DataLab at the iSchool, and an affiliate of the UW’s eScience Institute, where, as a part of the Data Science Studies group, I co-convened a talk series, “Data Then and Now” from 2019-2021. I’m also an advisor with my university’s Science, Technology and Society Studies (STSS) program where I have been lucky enough to advise incredible students from Forestry, Law, and Urban Planning. I was lucky enough to supervise Meg Young, now a postdoc at Cornell.

I worked on several collaborative projects that have concluded:

In 2021-22 I was a Lenore Annenberg and Wallis Annenberg Fellowship in Communication at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. I completed my PhD in 2012 at UC Berkeley’s School of Information, and spent two wonderful years as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, MA with the Social Media Research Group. Paul Duguid and AnnaLee Saxenian were my PhD advisors and Peter Lyman advised my masters degree, also from Berkeley. My dissertation committee members also included Richard Walker and Coye Cheshire. My dissertation research was funded by National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant.

Previously, I spent three years working as a engineer and research engineer at HP. I have an Masters degree in Information Management and Systems from UC Berkeley, and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor LSA Honors College.