The University of Southampton

Dr Richard Gomer BSc(Hons) MSc PhD (he/him)

I originally gained a BSc in Computer Science, from Southampton, and then moved into Web Science via the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre to earn my MSc and PhD. I’m now a postdoctoral Research Fellow, working across the Agents Interaction and Complexity Research Group (AIC), the Centre of Excellence for the Future of Human Communication (CEFHC) and sometimes found in the Web, AI and Society Research Group (WAIS).

I’m a director of several organisations, and I represent West End North as a councillor on Eastleigh Borough Council, where I’m also Chair of the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Panel. I've a particular interest in building pragmatic links between research and policy, particularly in local government.


Research interests

I work in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research, with a particular interest in how individuals and groups interact with large-scale systems, how those systems are designed, and how things like values and agency play out within them. My PhD Thesis examined the role of values in Privacy & Data Protection, and Personal Fitness Devices, and how to incorporate values into Activity Theory.

From 2014 to 2018 I worked on design and policy for “Meaningful Consent” as part of the Meaningful Consent in the Digital Economy project.

Later I moved on to the Horizon 2020 QROWD project, working on human-AI interaction for crowdsourcing transportation data, and how different approaches to data governance can account for the motives and interests of different data stakeholders, including the crowd workers who are engaged in its production.

I currently split my research time between the AutoTrust project and the Centre of Excellence for the Future of Human Communication.

The AutoTrust Project is investigating how to design and sustain a Human-Centred Internet of Vehicles. I’m interested in how future “smart” transport systems might embed and exert the agency of different stakeholders, and how different outcomes, values and interests might be consciously reflected and incorporated through the design and engineering process – and the implications that those systems have for the agency of the individuals that use them.

The Centre of Excellence for the Future of Human Communication has been established to promote interdisciplinary research into communication-related topics, including technology, across the University. I’m working with the centre’s directors, and researchers from right across the University, to build a community and create a shared research agenda.



Baarslag, Tim, Alan, Alper T., Gomer, Richard C., Liccardi, Ilaria, Marreiros, Helia, Gerding, Enrico and schraefel, m.c. (2016) Negotiation as an interaction mechanism for deciding app permissions. In CHI EA '16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM. pp. 2012-2019 . (doi:10.1145/2851581.2892340).

Baarslag, Tim, Alan, Alper, Gomer, Richard, Alam, Muddasser, charith, perera, Gerding, Enrico and Schraefel, Monica (2017) Meaningful Consent Study 2 Dataset. University of Southampton [Dataset]

Gomer, Richard C. (2018) Values in technology and practice: using Activity Theory to consider the role of values and technology in everyday activities. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 226pp.

Wakenshaw, Susan Y.L., Maple, Carsten, schraefel, mc, Gomer, Richard and Ghirardello, Kevin (2018) Mechanisms for meaningful consent in internet of things. In IET Conference Publications. vol. 2018, Institution of Engineering and Technology..

Maddalena, Eddy, Zeni, Mattia, Ibanez, Luis Daniel, Song, Donglei, Simperl, Elena, Gomer, Richard and Giunchiglia, Fausto (2019) Hybrid human machine workflows for mobility management. Liu, Ling and White, Ryen (eds.) In The Web Conference 2019 - Companion of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019. ACM. pp. 102-109 . (doi:10.1145/3308560.3317056).

schraefel, m.c., Gomer, Richard, Alan, Alper, Gerding, Enrico and Maple, Carsten (2017) The Internet of Things: Interaction challenges to meaningful consent at scale. Interactions, 24 (6), 26-33. (doi:10.1145/3149025).

schraefel, m.c., Gomer, Richard, Gerding, Enrico and Maple, Carsten (2020) Rethinking transparency for the Internet of Things. In, Hildebrandt, Mireille and O'Hara, Kieron (eds.) Life and the Law in the Era of Data-Driven Agency. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 100-116. (doi:10.4337/9781788972000.00012).

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