Lydia Nicholas

Digital Anthropologist and Researcher in Technology Culture

Lydia Nicholas is an anthropologist studying how people work together with cutting edge technologies. Lydia has worked with scientists, broadcasters, governments, hospitals, and businesses to make work more effective and society more ethical. She has also performed live comedy for over ten years. She brings ideas and questions to life with humour, passion and clarity making her talks enlightening and entertaining.


Lydia is an anthropologist who studies how people and cutting edge technologies work together. Formerly a senior researcher working across the Futures team and Health Lab at Innovation charity Nesta, Lydia Nicholas has worked with scientists to improve their work across disciplines. Lydia has worked with the UK Government researching technology futures and developing the Data Science Research Ethics framework, and with the Science MuseumWellcome TrustBBC and more.

She writes regularly for New Scientist on matters of health and data, and science fiction. Alongside her research work Lydia has been performing live comedy for ten years, including at the Edinburgh fringe. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Human Computer Interaction with UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Recently she has spoken for BBC Research & Development, at The Royal Society, at DataFest18, FutureFest, and various other festivals and private events.


You may want to go deeper into a topic for your audience. The keynote topics can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.

  • Future Trends and Technology – AI
  • Health Care Technologies and Biomedical Research
  • Use of Technology in Government
  • Data
  • The Futures of Food, Water and Infrastructure
  • Science Fiction



“Every time I listening to one of Lydia’s talks my assumptions and beliefs about how the world of data and AI are transformed. She seems to contain an unfathomable supply of intriguing anecdotes and case-studies that illuminate future conceptions of the world. Some of these futures may be bleak, others optimistic but they are always told with wit, humour and infectious enthusiasm. More people working in or with tech need to hear what she has to say.” Josh Ryan-Saha, Skills Manager Datalab Scotland

“Lydia Nicholas is one of my go-to acts when I need someone reliably hilarious and intelligent. From science improv to panel shows to ten minutes about the future for a conference drinks reception, Lydia always delivers.” Steve Cross, Clever Make Funny Productions

“You set the tone for the day amazingly – there’s been so much lovely feedback about your presentation.” Ruth Oliver, Dots Festival 

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