Ahead of this year’s APSA general meeting, we attended the Politics and Computational Social Science (PaCSS) pre-conference, hosted at Northeastern University. The event brought together political scientists working with large-scale data sets and emerging computational methods.
Sessions at the event addressed a range of topics, including misinformation and fake news; political polarization; international relations; collective action and protests; and ideology and public opinion. There was also a strong focus on research methods, exploring everything from text and image analysis to disambiguation of data.
After a full day of sessions, the event was closed by David Lazer and Gary King. David’s introduction focused on the future of Computational Social Science, providing the perfect platform for Gary to talk about his work with the Social Science One initiative. Gary gave a detailed explanation of the initiative, which has been set up to provide social science researchers with access to Facebook data in order to study the effects of social media on democracy.
His talk included a wealth of useful information for anyone interested in applying to gain access to the data, alongside a $50,000 research grant. He also covered plans for the future and the intention to increase the scope of the project over time.
You can watch the full recording of his keynote here – a must for anyone interested in studying social media data, or gaining access to industry data in the future.