Stiefel Léa

Data sharing systems and their socio-technical architectures, under the supervision of Professor Dominique Vinck (Institute of Social Sciences, Sciences and Technologies Studies Laboratory)


Sous la direction de D. Vinck, Université de Lausanne

The thesis focuses on data sharing systems and their socio-technical architectures as contested objects. It is based on fieldwork conducted between 2018 and 2019 in the Swiss agricultural sector. Data sharing combines socio-economic ambitions in agriculture as in other sectors: it is supposed to enhance competitiveness and transparency and secure future jobs. The fieldwork focuses on a project to develop a peer-to-peer platform for the authorized transmission of data between organizations in the Swiss agricultural sector. The project was launched as a critical reaction to an attempt to centralize all agricultural data by creating a single datawarehouse. The ethnographic material includes documents and press clippings associated with the project, transcripts of a dozen interviews with the project leader and his teams, their working sessions, and transcripts of about 40 interviews with farmers and leaders of organizations in the sector. These materials are complemented by entries in a field diary kept throughout the investigation. The thesis is rooted in several literatures, particularly Infrastructure Studies, Platform Studies, and Internet Studies. Early contributions (in the publication and submission stages) focus on the themes of innovation through withdrawal, the digital commons, and the digital critic.


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