Impact

ESRC Festival of Social Science, and the ‘Big Data’ Debate

November 5, 2012 852

http://sageconnection.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/efss_2012_logo_rgb.png?w=300&h=241This week is the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science, an event that takes place all over the UK where social scientists get a chance to show their latest research directly to the public.

For a list of events, and to find something near you GO HERE, and visit the Festival’s website.

SAGE will be hosting a festival event tonight (Monday), jointly with the British Academy. Both SAGE and the British Academy have long supported the festival, which they “believe strongly helps to showcase the valuable work of the UK’s social scientists and demonstrate how their work has an impact on all our lives.”

The event this year concentrates on a truly ‘big’ topic for social scientists: ‘Big Data’. What opportunities does ‘Big Data’ offer to the social sciences?  What challenges are there, what skills, training and resources are needed? And what are the wider implications for public scrutiny and debate?

These challenges cannot be solved by the research community alone. We are therefore thrilled to have convened a panel that offers such a strong representation of the stakeholders engaged in social science, both from the research and policy perspective. These are:

  • Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Professor Harvey Goldstein FBA, Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Bristol and a leading expert on league tables.
  • Dr Farida Vis, a Research Fellow in the Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield who has been part of the Guardian newspaper’s groundbreaking Reading the Riots project – part of the team that examined 2.5 million riot tweets.
  • Paul Woobey, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Director of the Strategy and Standards Directorate, Head of the IT Profession and Senior Information Risk Owner for the ONS.

The media also plays a key role in raising public engagement with Big Data, and as such SAGE and the Academy of Social Science invited Polly Toynbee, a political and social commentator for The Guardian, as the panel chair.

If you didn’t manage to register for a ticket, you can still follow the event on Twitter by following #BASAGE12.

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