Lydia Nicholas is an anthropologist who works in places where data, identities, bodies and biotechnologies meet, focusing on futures and networks, often using speculative fiction as a research and communication tool.

In recent years she has used speculative fiction to explore information flow through interdisciplinary synthetic biology projects, researched antibiotic resistance for the Longitude Prize and edited a science fiction collection to spread awareness. Her research into lay understandings of big data took her to the UK Cabinet Office and the Science Museum. She currently works as a Senior Researcher in Collective Intelligence at Nesta, exploring how people use new digital platforms to collaborate and the ethics and regulation of using machine learning systems in government decisions.