Academic Profile

Dr. Stevens was born in the UK, grew up in Australia, and pursued his education mostly in the United States. After studying physics and the history of physics as an undergraduate, he pursued an MPhil in the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He obtained his PhD from the Department of History of Science at Harvard in 2010 and moved to Singapore in 2011. He is the author of "Life out of sequence: a data-driven history of bioinformatics" (University of Chicago Press, 2013), "Biotechnology and Society: An introduction" (University of Chicago Press, 2016), and the co-editor (with Sarah S. Richadson) a volume of essays under the title "Postgenomics: Perspectives on Biology After the Genome" (Duke University Press, 2015).
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Assoc Prof Hallam Stevens
Associate Chair (Research), School of Humanities
Associate Professor, School of Humanities
Co-Director for Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (AI.R), Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Centre @ NTU (DSAIR)

My research focuses on the history of information technologies and the history of the life sciences. I have written widely about the impact of data and data-driven technologies on science and society. Over the last few years I have worked to develop the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH), an institute aimed at fostering the ethical, responsible, fair, and just use of technology.

I am currently pursuing two ongoing research projects. The first examines different possibilities for understanding what our online-digital world might have become. We too often, implicitly or explicitly, accept the idea that our online worlds, tools, and platforms (such as the World Wide Web) are the best, most natural, or inevitable forms of these technologies. But exploring the histories of other platforms that “might have been,” I hope to open up thinking about alternative possibilities for doing and living digitally.

The second project aims to understand the role that these Singaporean and Southeast Asian operations played in the globalization of the microelectronics industry more broadly. Alongside operations in Latin America, semiconductor plants in Singapore led the way in the globalization of microelectronics and ultimately transformed that industry. Now the vast majority of the world’s electronics – including microelectronics devices – are produced in the People’s Republic of China. This has significant implications for the global distribution of expertise, jobs, and the balance of global trade. This project aims to better describe and situate the role of Singapore and Southeast Asia in such knowledge transfers.

I am interested in supervising PhD students on topics related to the history of the life sciences, the history of information technology, and science and technology studies.
  • The development of the microelectronics industry in Singapore, 1968-1990

  • Transclusions: Alternative Visions Of Living Digitally
  • Arora P, Stevens, H. (2019). Data-driven models of governance across borders: Datafication from the local to the global. First Monday (Chicago), , n/a.

  • Stevens, Hallam. (2019). Open data, closed government: Unpacking First Monday (Chicago), , n/a.

  • Stevens, Hallam. (2018). Evidence-based medicine from a social science perspective. Australian Journal of General Practice, 47(12), n/a.

  • Stevens, Hallam. (2018). China’s win-at-all-costs approach suggests it will follow it’s own dangerous path in biomedicine.The Conversation (USA).

  • Stevens, Hallam. (2018). Starting up biology in China: Performances of Life at BGI. Osiris, 33(1), 85-101.