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There’s clear potential for AI and data science to positively impact the world. But there are also risks that AI will exaggerate society’s existing biases, prejudices and inequities. At Monash Data Futures Institute, we firmly believe that AI should be a force for social good. This philosophy underpins everything we do, from the projects we support to the way we interact with end-users and other stakeholders.The Monash Data Futures Institute is a University-wide institute that brings together data science and AI capabilities from across the University in the areas of Health Sciences, Sustainable Development, and Policy and Governance. The Institute aims to be the leading centre for AI and data science in the region, and is the largest such institute in Australia.


Professor Joanna L. Batstone, Ph.D., is the inaugural Director of the Monash Data Futures Institute and is responsible for bringing together data science and AI capabilities from across the University. Joanna will continue to establish a digital ecosystem which fosters collaborative interdisciplinary research and promotes lasting industry engagements. An exceptional thought leader in the development and application of AI and data analytics, Joanna is passionate about the benefits of AI in driving lasting and transformative change for social good.

Joanna joins Monash from IBM, where she was recently Vice President, Innovation, IBM Corporate Strategy based in New York. Joanna held a variety of technical and business leadership roles in IBM's Research and Development Laboratories, including work with IBM Watson Data & AI. Joanna is an experienced technology executive with international experience managing teams in the USA, Europe and Australia. From 2014-2017, Joanna was Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research – Australia and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Australia and New Zealand. Joanna joined IBM in the T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, in the Physical Sciences department.

Joanna received a B.Sc., in Chemical Physics and a Ph.D., in Physics from The University of Bristol, UK, followed by postdoctoral work at AT&T Bell Laboratories, NJ, and a Lectureship in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Liverpool, UK, before joining IBM. She received the Burton Medal from the Microscopy Society of America, the Robert Lansing Hardy Gold Medal from The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society and the Cosslett Award from the Microbeam Analysis Society.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Chemical Physics, B.Sc (Hons), University of Bristol

Physics, PhD, TEM and Cathodoluminescence Studies of ZnSe, University of Bristol

Research area keywords

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Data science
  • AI and data science

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or