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Dr Jonathan Minton

Dr Jonathan Minton

Research Fellow



I am an academic and researcher in the social sciences with a varied background in engineering, the social sciences, health sciences, and humanities. After completing a PhD, which looked at welfare reform for incapacity benefit claimants under new labour, I moved to the health sciences – working for as a systematic reviewer and then health economist at the university of York and Sheffield – before moving to Glasgow, and back to the social sciences, to work as a research fellow in the Urban Studies department as part of the UK-wide Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) within the Urban Studies and Inequalities (USI) research node.
Alongside this I have developed methods for visualising large amounts of data by arranging the data as age-time ‘surfaces’ (known as Lexis Surfaces), and using both old and new methods and approaches to see these surfaces either indirectly as maps, or directly as interactive computer-generated images, and more recently as 3D printed ‘data sculptures’. A collection of around 50 data sculptures have now been produced, and exhibited at a number of locations throughout Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of the UK.

Research and Teaching Interests

I am interested in the aesthetic aspects of the data sculptures I have produced, as objects of beauty, and which induce philosophical reflection about the position of the individual in a something much broader, rather than just as instruments for contemporary enquiry.

I remain interested (and troubled) by recent developments in the erosion, punitive rebranding and residualisation of social security provision within the UK, as my PhD looked at how these systems had developed and changed over more than six generations. I am concerned that a broad lack of engagement and ability to understand and interpret quantitative data has made it much easier for the ideologically driven campaign to erode state-led social security provision to succeed in recent years, and am keen to promote the role of quantitative engagement for active citizenship and accountable and effective government.



  • College of Social Sciences, School of Social and Political Sciences