Skip to main content

Cultural Science

Cultural Science

Our ambition is to rethink the study of culture for the digital era. The cultural production of knowledge includes both formal systems (research, science, and universities) and informal knowledge-making in social media and popular culture – from news and ‘edutainment’ to fantasy and science fiction. This program investigates the links between culture and technology in popular and specialist media alike.

We are building a new conceptual frame for analysing how identity, meaning, and social relations operate in the creative economy, digital and social media. We use an interdisciplinary approach based in evolutionary theory, complexity studies, and creative communication research.

Our projects focus on conceptual modelling and disciplinary synthesis, as well as practical applications using a systems approach. The aim is to develop new tools for analysing how cultural groups make knowledge, and in turn how that shapes creative innovation.

Projects include: online identities; AI, robots and communication; the creative economy in China; open access in the research publishing sector; and the relations between culture and technology. We also host the experimental Open Access Cultural Science Journal.

Our publications on ‘knowledge clubs’, ‘social network markets’, open knowledge, and creative innovation in China have contributed to the economics of innovation and to creative industries research as well as to communication, cultural and media studies.

Program leader

John Hartley AM,  John Curtin Distinguished Professor, Curtin University


A/Professor Lucy Montgomery, Director of CCAT, Curtin University

Professor Cameron Neylon, CCAT Professor of Research Communication, Curtin University

A/Professor Tama Leaver, Senior Lecturer, Internet Studies, MCASI, Curtin University

A/Professor Henry Siling Li, Dean of International – China, Curtin University

Dr. Eleanor Sandry, Internet Studies, MCASI, Curtin University

Professor Jason Potts, CCAT Associate, RMIT

A/Professor Ellie Rennie, CCAT Associate, Swinburne University

Dr Wen Wen, CCAT Associate, Director, Department for Project Development, Institute for Cultural Industries, Shenzhen University, China


Knowledge clubs and the cultural production of knowledge

Staging conflict in inter-group communication

Creative innovation and networked culture in China

Evolutionary perspectives on culture and media

Robots, science fiction and communication

Identity and communication technologies

This program continues the work of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and John Hartley’s ARC Federation Fellowship

Creative Workforce Initiative