Dr Hugo Leal is a Research Associate at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy (MCTD) based at CRASSH, the University of Cambridge having previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the internet branch of the project “Conspiracy and Democracy” and then moved to Cambridge Digital Humanities (CDH) where he was a methods fellow and coordinator of the Cambridge Data Schools.
Hugo combines research and teaching activities at the intersection of collective action and digital technologies. He has been looking at the networked diffusion of social movements and ideas. His investigation on misinformation and conspiracy theories intends to trace the lifecycle of viral narratives, their strategic use and societal impacts in a variety of areas, from the emergence of nativism to science denial. At the MCTD, Hugo will be focusing on the technological threats and opportunities to democracy and public health. He will also continue his outreach efforts to equip NGOs, journalists and the general public with tools to better handle and interrogate technology.