“In my previous life as an academic, I always liked interdisciplinary work: to come at things from a slightly sideways perspective. But in this area, I get to encounter more than most people do – collections, ideas, researchers, people, stories … I get to discover everything from every different area of knowledge, from lots of different perspectives. The data itself is obviously really interesting but it’s what goes into the creation of that data, and what people then do with that data – that’s what’s really fascinating to me.
When people ask me, ‘What do you do?’, I’m still not sure how best to describe it. Whenever someone asks, I give a different answer, but it doesn’t actually capture what the day-to-day work is about, which is the exchange of social and cultural knowledge. I think that’s the most appealing thing to me. There’s always something new to find out about, and this central thing that we call ‘data’ is a conduit into discovery of all kinds of stories and narratives. It’s a window into lots of different worlds.”