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Public Lecture

Response-ability Summit, May 2021

The digital and the social are now co-evolving — in a ‘sociodigital’ world — with emergent consequences that raise profound challenges for equality, social cohesion, and sustainability. While there is much discussion about ethics in this new world we are building, what seems to be missing is a call for social scientists. The annual Response-ability Summit brings together social scientists and technologists so that together we can build a future where socially-responsible tech is the norm.

In this short talk, I discuss the conceptual and ethical complications in designing digital mental healthcare tools that utilise Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to simulate a version of "human" empathy. 

UCL Seminar Series

Anthropology in the Professional World, February 2021

In this seminar, hosted by UCL's Department of Anthropology, I reflect on my attempts to maintain parallel careers both within and without of academia, as an applied anthropologist in the healthcare sector, as well as a Fellow in Public Anthropology. 

Hosted by Prof. Hannah Knox, UCL Anthropology

BBC Radio 3

Arts & Ideas Show, November 2020


What objects do we value most and what do we give away to charity shops? Matthew Sweet talks to researchers whose work is being featured in the Being Human Festival that takes place in November across a series of UK universities.


His guests are anthropologist and soprano Jennifer Cearns from UCL, George Gosling, a historian at the University of Wolverhampton, and Georgina Brewis, of University College London, at the Institute of Education. Plus Vaibhav Singh from the University of Reading shares his research into typewriters.

Presenter: Matthew Sweet / Producer: Emma Wallace

The Human Show

Podcast Interview, February 2021

In this podcast, I talk about balancing multiple career paths at once, and how I get my creative and intellectual 'fix' from mixing different careers as a soprano. anthropologist, and UX researcher. 

Presenter: Corinne Enache

Illustrating Anthropology Exhibition

Drawing has long been part of anthropological research and communication, in the form of maps, field-note sketches, and kinship diagrams. But now anthropologists are increasingly recognising the phenomenal story-telling power of illustration as a way to return their research to the communities they work with, and to share their findings far and wide. 

This exhibition was curated by Laura Haapio-Kirk and Jennifer Cearns, with support from the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, where they are Leach/RAI Fellows in Public Anthropology. The entries to the exhibition were also judged by Dr Benjamin Dix, Founding Director of PositiveNegatives, who produce comics, animations, and podcasts about social and humanitarian issues.

A selection from this exhibition was shown at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool between 12th – 30th November 2020, and at Bloc Projects in Sheffield between 8th – 12th December 2020 as part of Being Human – the UK’s national festival of the humanities.

For further information email

Queer Eyes Film Festival

The Royal Anthropological Institute and the RAI Film Festival teamed up with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest throughout July 2020 in celebration of Pride, to hold a short online film festival called Queer Eyes


Throughout the month we held online screenings of 3 key documentaries which welcome us into the lives of different queer communities around the world, followed by a public Q&A hosted by Jennifer Cearns and Laura Haapio-Kirk to explore some of these central questions of gender, identity and sexuality through the lens of different cultures.T


This live Q&A took place on Wednesday 8 th July, 8pm, featuring guest speakers Angélica Cabezas Pino (director), Will from PrEPster, a London-based HIV prevention organisation, and Roberto Tovar from Número de Serie, an organisation that promotes the use art and design to build new bridges of communication around HIV activism.

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