Interdisciplinarity

Blog posts and resources relating to interdisciplinarity in the social sciences. To start a new discussion on interdisciplinarity, visit the forum via the above link.

Bridging the Divide Between Academics and Movements

For academic researchers working with social movements and activist groups can present unique challenges. Finding ways to work effectively together, whilst acknowledging differences in power and objectives, is often problematic. Drawing on perspectives from different social movements and academia, Diana Mitlin, Jhono Bennett, Philipp Horn, Sophie King, Jack Makau and George Masimba Nyama present insights from the Slum/Shack Dwellers International movement on how academics can successfully co-produce useful knowledge for social movements.

1 year ago
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Free Essay Collection Examines State of Open Data

By offering a broad overview of the open data movement’s first 10 years, the editors of a recent collection of essays hope to provide an account that helps practitioners, policy-makers, community advocates, and anyone else in the open data movement, to progress the movement over the next 10 years…

1 year ago
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Why Academic Writing is Dry and Boring by Necessity

The necessity of rigorous if uninspiring academic writing is perhaps best illustrated with the story of a prominent 18th-century intellectual named Franz Anton Mesmer. He believed that illnesses were caused by blockages that interfered with the healthy flow of magnetic fluid through the body.

1 year ago
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Why is Inequality Bad?

Here’s a clear, scientific reason drawn from the field of complexity economics to combat rising inequality: good business models that serve many people are becoming less profitable. Solid entrepreneurial ideas that would benefit everyone get passed over when there are easier opportunities to make money by catering to a few individuals with a whole lot of dollars to spend.

1 year ago
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Impact Requires Breadth and Ideas, Not Tick Boxes

As part of their impact agenda, universities increasingly promote and train academics to carry out research collaborations across disciplines and with non-academic partners. While this can be impactful, Helen B. Woods argues that attempts to direct research in this way can produce inauthentic collaboration, and suggests an ideas-led approach.

2 years ago
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Social Precognition and Sociology: The Case of Resistentialism and ANT

In the last 20 years or so there has been much excitement, particularly in science and technology studies, about Actor-Network Theory. One of its most distinctive features is the way in which it ascribes agency to material objects. Perhaps we should not be crediting Bruno Latour or Michel Callon with the original insight – but an English humourist, Paul Jennings.

2 years ago
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Britain’s Mental Health Crisis, Mindfulness and the Sociological Imagination

The popularization of mindfulness, write Daniel Nehring and Ashley Frawley, cannot just be understood as a recent response to public perceptions of a mental health crisis. Rather, it is the result of developments in academic psychology, in its clinical uses in psychotherapy, and in its growing commercial exploitation from the 1980s onwards.

2 years ago
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A Tool that Detects the Strength of Hate Speech on Twitter

A new machine learning tool can detect and classify different strengths of Islamophobic hate speech on Twitter. Bertie Vidgen and Taha Yasseri explain their processes in creating a new tool that detects Islamophobic hate speech on Twitter.

2 years ago
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Meet The Social Scientist, a New Networking Initiative for STEM

Danielle Tomasello describes The Social Scientist, a non-profit networking and outreach community of STEM professionals. Our volunteers answer questions that will benefit scientists’ interests, including a view of their work, environment and what it took for them to get there.

2 years ago
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Learning Through Citizen Science: Enhancing Opportunities by Design

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established a committee of experts to conduct a study on how citizen science projects can be better designed to support science learning. The committee was tasked with identifying and describing existing citizen science, to develop a set of evidence-based principles to guide the design of citizen science projects.

2 years ago
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Training Social Scientists for the Future

Calling all social scientists. How were you trained? How are you keeping up (or not) with new developments in this rapidly changing digital world? How are you training your students? This was the subject of an event sponsored by SAGE Ocean as part of the ESRC’s 2018 Festival of Social Science. Comment on the post

2 years ago
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Should We Treat the Syllabus as a Scholarly Work?

A workshop conducted by the Humane Metrics Initiative earlier this year explored whether the humble syllabus should be treated as a scholarly work on its own merits, and if so, how the authors of any syllabi should be recognized.

2 years ago
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