Owen Davies is a reader in Social History at the University of Hertfordshire. His main field of research is on the history of modern and contemporary witchcraft and magic.
His interest in the history of witchcraft and magic developed out of a childhood interest in folklore and mythology, which was spawned in part from reading the books of Alan Garner. From around the age of sixteen he also became interested in archaeology and began to get involved with field-walking and earthwork surveying. He then went on to study archaeology and history at Cardiff University, and he spent many weeks over the next six years helping excavate Bronze Age and Neolithic sites in France and England, mostly in the area around Avebury. He developed has a strong interest in archaeology in general, and the ritual monuments and practices of the Neolithic and Bronze Age.
From Cardiff he went on to write a doctorate at Lancaster University, working on a thesis looking at the continuation and decline of popular belief in witchcraft and magic from the Witchcraft Act 1735 to the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951.
We are now in the third stage of the industrial revolution. The first involved machines which extended human muscle; the second used machines to extend the human nervous system (radio, television, telephones); the third is now utilizing machines which extend the human mind-computers. About half of all service workers (43 percent of the labor force by 2000) will be involved in collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, structuring, storing, or retrieving information... By 1995, 80 percent of all management will be "knowledge workers.".