Earlier this year the first ever Social Science Foo Camp (Soc Sci Foo) was held at Facebook’s HQ in Menlo Park, CA. Co-hosted by SAGE, O’Reilly Media and Facebook. Foo stands for ‘Friends of O’Reilly and the first event was organised in 2003 at O’Reilly’s HQ, with the first Science Foo Camp (Sci Foo) being held in 2006. You can read SAGE’s own Ziyad Marr discuss this year’s Sci Foo over on Social Science Space.
Soc Sci Foo 18 followed the ‘unconference’ format of other Foo events as attendees were greeted by Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media), Ziyad Marar (SAGE Publishing) and Lada Adamic (Facebook), and encouraged to spend the weekend meeting new people and exploring ideas that could have far-reaching impact.
During the course of Soc Sci Foo we were able to speak to leading academics about the opportunities and challenges that social scientists are facing when working with big data and new technology. Analysis at this scale is no longer an idealistic notion for social scientists but it does require new skills, tools, and knowledge so they can—to quote Soubhik Barari—effectively operationalize research findings, regardless of whether this is to improve industry products or inform society.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing a number of these short videos with you that give you an insight into how big data is changing social science and the hurdles that this presents to traditional methods of analysis.