Data Big and Small: Past, Present and Future

I’m sad I’ll be missing this (though happy to be in Berlin) – hope lots of other people make it:

Warwick University Festival of Social Sciences

Data Big and Small: Past, Present and Future

This event is jointly hosted by the

Faculty of Social Sciences and the Warwick Q-Step Centre.

11 May 2015 – 16:00 – 18:15, followed by a drinks reception until 19:00

Warwick’s Faculty of Social Science has been doing a suite of work around big data this year. ‘Big data’ has become an unwieldy catchphrase loaded with many different connotations. Some researchers argue that big data are transforming everyday social and political processes, locally and globally; others argue that big data has always been around in one way or another. This event will consider the past present and future of data, big and small. The event is aimed primarily at those wanting to learn more about big data in general as well as those wanting to learning more about different social science perspectives about big data. It will include a panel of leading Warwick scholars drawn from across social science disciplines. Rather than giving presentations, panellists will be asked to discuss a number of questions based on some of the key issues we have drawn out of our suite of work around big data. There will then be questions from the audience, which the panellists will be asked to discuss. This will be followed by our keynote speaker, Emer Coleman.


16:00 – 16:10     Welcome Address by Professor Chris Hughes, Chair of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Head of Department, of Politics and International Studies.

16:10-17:30        Panel Session

17:30-18:15        Keynote Speaker

18:00-19:00        Drinks Reception


Emer Coleman – A Warwick alumni now working as a journalist and consultant writing about how technology impacts organisational development. She was the architect of the London Datastore and more recently the Deputy Director for Digital Engagement at Government Digital Services where she wrote the Social Media Guidance for the Civil Service. She was named in Wired Magazines top 100 Digital Power Influencers List 2011.


Dr Philippe Blanchard – Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics and International Studies, and member of the Warwick Q-Step Centre. He is currently involved in a number of European research projects on political trajectories, environmental politics and old and new social sciences methods.

Dr Claire Crawford – Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics. Her recent research involves understanding what explains socio-economic and ethnic differences in Higher Education participation and attainment, and what universities and policymakers can do to help reduce these gaps.

Dr Olga Goryunova  – Associate Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies. Her recent work involves questions about the digital subject/person in relation to data mining and an ESRC project on “Picturing the Social”.

Dr Tobias Preis – Associate Professor of Behavioural Science and Finance at the University of Warwick. Together with his colleague Dr. Suzy Moat, he directs the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School. His recent research aims to predict real world behaviour using data taken from Google, Wikipedia, Flickr and other sources. His research has been featured in the news, the BBC, the New York Times, the Financial Times, Science, Nature, Time Magazine, New Scientist and the Guardian. He has given a range of public talks including presentations at TEDx events in the UK and in Switzerland. See here for further details:

Dr Nick Sofroniou  – Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Research.  His recent work involves developing statistical models for complex samples in education and the social sciences, e.g., students nested in classrooms, employees in different countries, and longitudinal studies. He maintains a keen interest in evidence-based policy and in the interplay between national and international-level policy initiatives.


Dr Emma Uprichard – Associate Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies and co-direct of the Warwick Q-Step Centre. Her recent research explores how different methods, including big data analytics, can be developed for complex social policy and planning purposes.


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