Data is a hot topic. It is both something that will save us, and something we must be saved from. It is the next revolution, a deluge and a particularly potent ideology. On the one hand we have major digital institutions, fronted by social physicists and computer scientists, developing ever more sophisticated tools for storing, analysing and visualising data. On the other hand we have a growing number of critical scholars interrogating issues ranging from privacy concerns to the data hype’s ontological and epistemological baggage.
Recent seminars on ‘Data Practices’ – the theme of this years Design and Social Science seminar series co-organised by the Design and Sociology Dept at Goldsmiths – have tried to combine the affirmative and the critical approach.… Continue reading
Earlier this month, we were pleased to have CSISP visiting fellow Israel Rodriguez Giralt open the autumn term’s lecture series with the lecture ‘Issue-oriented activism: Comparing the emergence of concerned groups around care policies for dependent people in UK and Spain’. You can find links to a full audio recording of the talk and slides below. Below is Israel’s lecture summary.… Continue reading
Lezaun’s talk looks at the use of film by two early 20th century social scientists: (1) Wolfgang Köhler, one of the founders of Gestalt Psychology, and his colleague (2) Kurt Lewin, the pioneer of Social Psychology. In the work of these two figures we find the idea of the social as a form of movement, as a kinetic event, most visibly manifested in the face-to-face interactions of small groups.… Continue reading
It was a completely full house last week (7 March) in the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre for Richard Rogers’ and Bruno Latour’s joint presentation as part of The New in Social Research – with students and lecturers lining the steps and craning their necks from the upper deck.
Both speakers were gracious co-hosts: Rogers referring to himself as “the appetiser for the main course”, while Latour framed his talk as “a footnote” to Rogers’. But the two lectures, which addressed “digital methods” and “digital ontology” respectively, were more closely entwined: Rogers’ cutting edge mapping and internet research techniques provided “an occasion” for Latour to vindicate the theories of Gabriel Tarde, while Latour’s Tardian ontology provided validation and grounding for Roger’s methodologies.… Continue reading
We are pleased to put online the next in our ‘The New in Social Research’ series, a recording of Evelyn Ruppert’s lecture titled ‘Doing the Transparent State: Methods and their Subjectifying Effects/Affects’ (Feb 28th).
Building on themes explored in the previous talk by Fuller and Harwood, Ruppert looked at the effects (and affects) of the UK government’s data ‘Transparency Agenda’, insisting on the generative capacities of this device. This includes the release of detailed data, via publically accessible, comparatively easy-to-use online platforms (e.g. government produced data apps), ranging from details of MPs expenses to itemised lists of departmental spending. This data, in turn, can be – and increasingly is – downloaded, manipulated and mediated by organisations and institutions, whether by journalists looking to produce eye catching visualisations , or companies hoping to unearth market value hidden in the relations between and amongst different data sets.… Continue reading