POSTDOC POSITION for the project “VISUAL TRUST. Reliability, accountability and forgery in...

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 16 Dec 2022

This is a 2 or 3 years full-time postdoctoral academic research job. The candidate will conduct research under the supervision and direction of the principal investigator (Roger Canals – University of Barcelona – Department of Social Anthropology). The general objective of the ERC project VISUAL TRUST is to analyse through a qualitative, comparative and bottom-up approach, the relationships of (mis)trust that individuals from different socio-cultural milieu establish with “social”, “religious” and “scientific” images. In other words, the principal aim is to understand how visual (mis)trust is “crafted”, “distributed”, “experienced” and “assessed”. This project will experimentally address the issue of the “visual fake” and the notion of “authenticity”, “trustworthiness” and “originality” of current images, adopting a practise-based and transdisciplinary approach. This research will be conducted on-line and off-line through audio-visual research methods along the lines of Visual Anthropology and Multi-Modal Anthropology. It will lead to several research outcomes (films, articles, book chapters, among others). This project is also committed with the idea of public social sciences.

This postdoctoral researcher will be part of a research team based at the Faculty of Geography and History at the University of Barcelona. She/he will conduct research on Task 3.1: (Mis)Trust in images of the outer space: visual and data evidence, imagination & knowledge, and the scientific aesthetics.

The researcher in charge of this task will have to be able to conduct qualitative research through audio-visual means be bringing together anthropology, STS Studies (in particular physics and/or astronomy) and visual qualitative research.

Special theoretical attention will be paid to the principles used to assess the reliability of scientific images as well as their connection to ethics and aesthetics. We will analyse what is a “fake image” in the world of scientific representation and how images are crafted, used, conceptualized and assessed by different agents belonging to diverse socio-cultural domains.

This research will be based on audio-visual methods (photo-elicitation, video-elicitation, interviews, participant observation and work with focus groups with the aid of a camera). It will include doing participant observation and interviews (on-line and off-line) with image-makers (in laboratories, astronomical observatories and research centres), agents and contexts of image-circulation (websites, journals, social networks, and face-to-face events like exhibitions, meetings and seminars) and “receivers” or “users” of these images (of different ages and belonging to different social contexts, according to the methodology of the project).

The off-line research will take place mainly in Spain and in Europe. Contact with individuals not dwelling in the EU will be carried out on-line. If needed, specific fieldwork can be conducted out of the European context. The person in charge of this task will work at the Faculty of Geography and History of the University of Barcelona.

During the fieldwork, this research will have to comply with the ethical and methodological protocols specified in the project.

The principal duties and responsibilities of this researcher will be:

-Elaborate a state of the art in relation to current investigations on anthropology of images applied in the study of the outer space. It also includes analyzing “false” or “untrustworthy” images that circulate, especially through Internet.

-Contact agents involved in the making, dissemination and reception of scientific images and investigate how they use and conceptualize them in terms of (mis)trust. This researcher will make interviews and participant observation with these agents based on an ethical and methodological protocol provided by the PI. This fieldwork will include the using of audio-visual devices (provided by the project). Training on the specific methodology of the project will be provided. This researcher will have to safely store the research documentation and share it with the PI, according to the established protocol. Technical devices will be provided by the project.

-Code the interviews and the images filmed or gathered during fieldwork using software for qualitative visual data analysis. Training for this software and for the data Management Plan will be provided.

-Attend relevant public events (conferences, meetings, exhibitions) as part of the research project. Participate in the seminars of the project in which the relations between “scientific”, “religious” and “social” images in terms of (mis)trust will be discussed.

-Participating actively in the updating of the website of the project, the social networks of the project and in the scientific meetings.

-Disseminate the results of the research conducted via scientific papers, book chapters, films and photographs co-signed with the PI to be presented at international, academic conferences and to be submitted to international, scientific journals. The project will cover the travel expenses related to data collection and to the participation in Conferences (up to a maximum established in the budget approved by the ERC).



FBG project number


Project title

VISUAL TRUST. Reliability, accountability and forgery in scientific, religious and social images





Gross salary per year


How to apply

Required documents

Application letter (3-5 pages), Curriculum vitae, 2 recommendation letters

Send your application to:



Roger Canals

email subject

Postdoc 3.1. Job Offer. VISUAL TRUST

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