DISTRACT brings together social science and data science methods to explore the political economy of distraction in the post-digital age. Combining qualitative and quantitative data, our interdisciplinary team investigates the mental, social and material techniques by which attention is captured, retained, and distracted in the world’s most digitized country, Denmark.

Fight for our attention



































Dataetik i et datademokrati. Kristoffer Albris. Presentation at the Technical University Denmark. As part of the course Digitalisering, Data og Nye Teknologier, EVU course to public officials. 14 Sep 2021.

Selling the promise of presence: How Companies Promote Digital Disconnection and Detox Courses in Denmark. Kristoffer Albris. Presentation at Oslo University, the DIGITOX project. 21 Apr 2021.

What is data worth? Eva Iris Otto. Presentation to DJØF's Tech Commission. 19 Apr 2021.

Digital Technologies in a Danish Context. Kristoffer Albris. Presentation for delegates from Brazilian government, DANIDA scholarship programme, DTU Compute. 23 Feb 2021.

"Fieldwork in an online entreprise: following business projects on Slack, Whereby and Discord." Eva Iris Otto. Presentation to MA students in Global Development and Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, 04 February 2021.

"Using diaries and logbooks in a mixed-methods approach: Experience sampling, remote data collection, ”thick surveys”, quali-quant data." Kristoffer Albris. Presentation to MA students in Global Development and Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, 04 February 2021.

"Will Algorithms Be Our Doom?" Kristoffer Albris, presentation for Vejle Gymnasium, 9 December 2020.

"Made by Disasters: On the Social, Cultural and Political Responses to Extreme Events and the Changes that Follow in Their Wake." Kristoffer Albris, keynote presentation, annual conference at Copenhagen Centre for Regulatory Science, 23 November 2020.

"Computational Anthropology: Quali-quantitative Analyses of Attention Economies during the Covid-19 Lockdown", Morten Axel Pedersen, Annual lecture at University College London Centre for Digital Anthropology. 5 October.

“How We Tweet About Coronavirus, and Why: A Computational Anthropological Mapping of Political Attention on Danish Twitter during the COVID-19 Pandemic." Anders Blok. 8 September 2020. 

KULT network for ethnologists and anthropologists. Eva Iris Otto. 7 September.

"Escape from Covid Island: how online gaming is becoming our getaway from the pandemic." Anna Sapienza. 19 June, 2020. University of Copenhagen, SODAS Data Discussion.

"Lockdown ethnography: Using logbooks, self-reporting and emojis to study routines during the corona crisis." Emilie Gregersen, Sofie Astrupgaard and Malene Jespersen. 29 May, 2020. University of Copenhagen, SODAS Data Discussion.

"Is Attention Actually Finite?" Morten Axel Pedersen and Kristoffer Albris. 15 May, 2020. University of Copenhagen, SODAS Data Discussion.

"DISTRACT: The Political Economy of Attention in Digitized Denmark." Morten Axel Pedersen and Kristoffer Albris. Center for Information and Bubble Studies, 28 feb, 2020. University of Copenhagen.

"Anthrometrics: Mining Anthropology Journals." Kristoffer Albris, Terne Jakobsen and Morten Axel Pedersen. Presented at Machine Anthropology Workshop, 27-28 jan, 2020, University of Copenhagen.

"DISTRACT: The Political Economy of Attention in Digitized Denmark." Kristoffer Albris. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, 22 nov, 2019. Vancouver, Canada.











Albris K, Otto EI, Astrupgaard SL, et al. 2021. A view from anthropology: Should anthropologists fear the data  machines? Big Data & Society. Online first.

Sapienza A and Lehmann S. 2021. A view from data science. Big Data & Society. Online first.

Willadsen, H. & Jespersen, M.H. 2021. Student attention in the online school. Blogpost.

M.A. Pedersen, K. Albris & N. Seaver. 2021. The Political Economy of Attention. Annual Review of Anthropology, 50:1.

Bjerre-Nielsen A, Andersen A, Minor K, Lassen DD. The Negative Effect of Smartphone Use on Academic Performance May Be Overestimated: Evidence From a 2-Year Panel Study. Psychological Science. October 2020. doi:10.1177/0956797620956613

Clark, Nathan & Albris, Kristoffer. 2020. In the interest (s) of many: Governing data in crises. Politics and Governance, 8(4), 421-431.

Samantha Dawn Breslin, Thyge Ryom Enggaard, Anders Blok, Tobias Gårdhus and Morten Axel Pedersen. 2020. How We Tweet About Coronavirus, and Why: A Computational Anthropological Mapping of Political Attention on Danish Twitter during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Somatosphere: Science, Medicine and Anthropology.

Kristoffer Albris, Anders Blok, Hjalmar Alexander Bang Carlsen, Thyge Ryom Enggaard, Emilie Munch Gregersen, Majsa Stina Grosen, Tobias Priesholm Gårdhus, Annika Solveig Hedegaard Isfeldt, Mathilde Yung Meiling, Anna Helene Kvist Møller, Morten Axel Pedersen, Jonas Skjold Raaschou-Pedersen & Asger Hans Thomsen. 2020. Digital Klima-Aktivisme i en Skandinavisk Corona-Tid. Blogpost: https://coronakrisen.github.io/post6.html

Anna Sapienza, Malene H. Jespersen, Kristoffer Albris, Morten Axel Pedersen, and Sune Lehmann. 2020. Escape from COVID Island. Blogpost: https://coronakrisen.github.io/post4.html

Emilie Munch Gregersen, Malene Hornstrup Jespersen, Sofie Læbo Astrupgaard, Tobias Priesholm Gårdhus, Eva Iris Otto, Morten Axel Pedersen og Kristoffer Albris. 2020. Life Goes On - Sådan Da. Blogpost: https://coronakrisen.github.io/post3.html

Emilie Gregersen, Kristoffer Glavind, Morten Axel Pedersen, Sofie Astrupgaard, Thyge Enggaard & Tobias Gårdhus. 2020. Nedlukningen har ændret tonen og stemning i danske corona-tweets. Blogpost: https://coronakrisen.github.io/post2.html

Thyge Enggaard, Tobias Gårdhus, Anders Blok, Hjalmar Carlsen & Morten Axel Pedersen. 2020. Corona-diskussioner i det danske Twitter-landskab. Blogpost: https://coronakrisen.github.io/post1.html


Newspaper article: Venskabet er på vej til at »overhale« kærligheden. Kristoffer Albris is interviewed about friendships during corona. Politiken. 29 Jun 2021.  

Podcast: "Det Gode Menneske". Kristoffer Albris on the podcast Brinkmanns Briks, on Danish Radio P1, hosted by psychologist Svend Brinkmann. 28 Apr 2021. 

Television: "Når Danmark Åbner". Kristoffer Albris is interviewed at a DJØF television event on what Denmark will look like after corona. The event also featured Søren Brostrøm, Svend Brinkmann, Lykke Friis, and others. 25 Mar 2021.

Online article: "Grin, syng, drik alkohol!": Tiden efter corona kan blive en frisk start for vores hårdt pressede venskaber. Kristoffer Albris is interviewed about friendship during the corona pandemic. ZETLAND. 26 Feb 2021.

Magazine article: Et år senere: Det lærte vi af corona. Kristoffer Albris is interviewed about our ability to adapt to a new normal during the corona pandemic. The Magazine I FORM. 18 Feb 2021.

Newspaper article: Har danskerne haft en luksus-lockdown? Her er, hvad Google afslører. Morten Axel Pedersen interviewed about Google search terms during corona. Berlingske Tidende. 17 Feb 2021.

Television: Aftenshowet DR1, Danish Broadcasting Service. Morten Axel Pedersen comments on Google search terms during corona. 15 Feb 2021.

Newspaper article: I 2020 kunne klimaet trække vejret: Det lærte vi om, hvad der skal til for at sikre grøn omstilling. Akademikerbladet. Anders Blok and Kristoffer Albris are interviewed on corona and climate politics. 20 Dec 2020.

Newspaper article: Children are not necessarily addicted to screens. Jylland-Posten. By Anne Marie Hastrup Kristensen. 02 Sep 2020. 

Newspaper article: Mobile phones and distractions in classrooms: nuances needed. Politiken. By Anne Marie Hastrup Kristensen. 20 Aug 2020.

Newspaper article: Farvel til Smalltalk. Weekendavisen. Kristoffer Albris is interviewed about the DISTRACT logbook study. 21 Jul 2020.

Podcast: Twitteranalyse i en Coronatid. On the podcast Data Snak. Morten Axel Pedersen and Thyge Ryom Enggard participated. 01 Jun 2020.

Radio: P1 Morgen. On Danmarks Radio (Danish News Corporation). Thyge Ryom Enggard participated and talked about DISTRACT's analysis of tweets during the corona lockdown. 27 May 2020.












Morten Axel Pedersen (PI), Professor

Morten Axel Pedersen
David Dreyer Lassen (Co-PI), Professor David Dreyer Lassen
Anders Blok (Co-PI), Associate Professor Anders Blok

Sune Lehmann (Co-PI), Professor

Sune Lehmann Jørgensen

Kristoffer Albris, Assistant Professor

Kristoffer Albris

Hjalmar Bang Carlsen, Assistant Professor

Helene Willadsen, Postdoc Helene Willadsen
Anna Sapienza, Postdoc
Eva Iris Otto, PhD Fellow Eva Iris Otto
Malene Hornstrup Jespersen, PhD Fellow
August Lohse, PhD Fellow
Anna Helene Kvist Møller, PhD Fellow
Thyge Enggaard, PhD Fellow (affiliated)
Asger Hans Thomsen, Student assistant
Clara Rosa Sandbye, Student Assistant (affiliated)
Emilie Munch Gregersen, Student Assistant (affiliated) Emilie Munch Gregersen
Sofie Læbo Astrupgaard, Student Assistant (affiliated)

Read more about our people here









Funded by

Logo of the European Research Council

DISTRACT is funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. Period: 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2024

DISTRACT on social media


Head of project, professor Morten Axel Pedersen

Deputy head of project, assistant professor Kristoffer Albris