The Politics of Data (Science)

This special issue of Discover Society will explore the political implications of ‘big data’ and the systems of expertise emerging around it, including though not limited to Data Science. In doing so it will aim to bridge the gap between the methodological discourse surrounding data science and the political discourse beginning to emerge around ‘big data’. Here are some of the questions the issue will address:

– How is ‘big data’ understood and acted upon? How should we understand its cultural power?
– How is ‘big data’ reconfiguring the social sciences? Do we risk all science becoming data science?
– How and why has the ‘data scientist’ come to be seen as the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’?
– Is the ‘data scientist’ just a ’Statistician who lives in Shoreditch?’ Or is this a genuinely new intellectual role?
– Can ‘big data’ address ‘big questions’? If not, is this a problem?
– What are the precursors of ‘data science’ within the academy and/or within corporations?
– What implications does corporate data science have for the relationship between corporations & consumers?
– What implications does national security data science have for the relationship between the state & citizens?
– Can the use of digital data lead to efficiency savings in public services? How does this relate to the politics of austerity?
– How could predictive privacy harms emerging from data analytics be addressed politically?
– Can the opacity of algorithmic processes be challenged? Or are we heading inexorably for a ‘black-box society’?
– How are new forms of digital data reconfiguring activity in particular social environments?

However these are just suggestions and ideas beyond the scope of this list are very welcome.

The deadline for contributions is June 15th. Contact to discuss a potential contribution.

The article will constitute the July issue of Discover Society. Most articles will be 1500 words however there are a number of special sections in the online magazine.

Front line – 1500 words
View point – 1500 words
Policy briefing – 1500-2000 words

If you would be interested in writing one of these thematic sections, please get in touch asap.

The issue will follow the usual formatting guidelines of Discover Society. Please consult the notes for contributors.