Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Dying in the Digital Age - CDAS hosts successful annual conference

Tue Jun 19 13:57:00 BST 2012

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines and several countries gathered for the Centre for Death & Society (CDAS) annual conference on 9 June, this year titled ‘Dying in the Digital Age’.

Each CDAS conference takes a topic marked by its originality or topicality, and aims to share perspectives and research findings on what everyone will be talking about in a couple of year’s time, rather than what has been discussed previously.

The 2012 conference was very successful, especially given that research into dying in a digital age is considerably more embryonic and fragmented than research into online mourning. Engagement and avid networking by participants was as strong as at previous events, while many delegates had their eyes opened to the complex, fascinating and important issues in this field.

Participants included academics such as psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, gerontologists, legal scholars, and religious studies researchers, along with practitioners such as nurses, hospice managers, IT designers, software entrepreneurs, and those working in the creative arts.

Feedback from this event was overwhelmingly positive, with the following (anonymous) comments:

“Wonderful conference.”

“Stimulating, frightening(!), challenging and informative - talented presentations and a huge amount of intellectual possibilities.”

“Great small conference, much better than huge ones. Here, you actually get to meet other people working in the same subject.”

“CDAS has demonstrated again by hosting this day that it leads the way in death studies.”

The Centre previously held a conference titled ‘Death and Dying in the Digital Age’ in 2011. This event was possibly the first time social scientists, death studies scholars, researchers in human-computer interaction and design, healthcare practitioners, and software entrepreneurs had all met together to discuss this topic – rather than separately.

The majority of the 2011 papers presented were on online mourning, and a special issue of the journal Bereavement Care will contain a number of the papers.

The next CDAS conference will take place in the summer of 2013, on the ‘Commodification of death and dying’. More details will be made available online shortly on the CDAS website.