Simeon is Professor of Digital Culture and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research Environment and Postgraduate Research. He has undertaken research on the social, political and cultural impacts of digital media since 1990. Since 2004 he has mainly focused on projects that address issues of digital inclusion and exclusion. In 2017 he seconded to the UK Government's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to act as research lead for the Digital Culture team – helping to develop the first UK “Digital Culture” policy. He is a Member Greater Manchester City Region Mayoral Digital Inclusion Action Network and was the joint-chair of the DCMS Research Working Group on Digital Inclusion and Skills. He is currently completing a project exploring citizens data literacy and has just commenced a project to explore a “Minimum Digital Living Standard” for UK households – both funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
The majority of his research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nuffield Foundation, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), EU and industry. Simeon’s work has often been interdisciplinary and has predominantly involved creative and digital industry partners. He led on a major Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded interdisciplinary programme (Engineering for Life) while at Sheffield Hallam.
Simeon has been researching the impacts of the internet and digital media on language and culture since 1990. His PhD thesis (1993) is a large-scale linguistic comparison of speech, writing and online interaction. This started with a long-standing focus on digital media and interpersonal interaction. Subsequent published work has covered analyses of gender differences in computer-mediated communication (CMC), gender and computer gaming, email and letter writing and science in the mass media. He has also explored issues of gender and technology use, workplace ICT use, politics online, ICT use in relation to policing and security and the role of digital technologies in arts and culture. Simeon has written text books on social research methods — in particular, linguistic and discourse analytic methods.
He was previously the Director of the Institute of Cultural Capital, a strategic collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. He established the Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI) at Sheffield Hallam University, and has previously worked at the Open University and at the University of Leeds. As well as a background in social science, Simeon has an interest and training in science (BSc Geology, DipNatSci Physics).