Dr Ella McPherson

Dr Ella McPherson, BA (Princeton), MPhil, PhD (Cantab) Anthony L. Lyster Fellow in Sociology. Director of Studies in Human, Social & Political Sciences (Part I)


My research focuses on symbolic struggles surrounding the media in times of transition, whether democratic or digital. My current research examines the potential for human rights NGOs to use social media to generate governmental accountability. This involves understanding the methodological and reputational implications of using social media and related networks as data sources and dissemination tools, as well as social media's effects on pluralism in human rights discourse. This research is supported by an ESRC Future Research Leader fellowship as well as by the Isaac Newton Trust. I am on the Steering Committee of Cambridge's Digital Humanities Strategic Network and its Trustworthy Technologies Strategic Research Initiative. I also lead The Whistle, an academic startup, supported by an EU Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 grant, that aims to support the collection and verification of human rights information for evidence.


I am Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of New Media and Digital Technology and am Co-Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, where I lead the research theme on human rights in the digital age.


Awarded The Pilkington Prize for excellence in teaching by the University of Cambridge in 2022.

01223 769381
  • Official Fellow
  • Anthony L. Lyster Fellow in Sociology
  • Director of Studies in Human, Social & Political Sciences