EventsTranslational events around the lab and university
A brown bag speaker series every 3rd Tuesday at noon featuring scientists who’ve taken their research out of the university to make a difference. Come learn about how other social scientists have applied their work through new technologies, new initiatives, and even new roles beyond academic.
- Learn about great research.
- Get inspired to make your science matter.
- Build connections with other translators.
Dr. Betsy Sinclair
Washington University in St. Louis
Betsy Sinclair – Founding Magnify Your Voice
In 2019, Dr. Betsy Sinclair turned her work into a Magnify, an action network where like-minded people could connect to solve your civic, political, and environmental projects. Magnify has a recommendation engine to suggest projects to different people, whether sending an email, making a phone call, or volunteering to help make a neighborhood better. People can also propose projects and build organizing teams by connecting people with one another. In this talk, Dr. Sinclair will discuss how she came to start Magnify and how it has shaped her work and her life as a political scientist.
Jan 19 12pm ET
Dr. Neil Lewis Jr.
Neil Lewis Jr. – Mechanisms of Explanation vs. Mechanisms of Change: Tensions Between Basic Theory Construction and Practical Application
Since the cognitive revolution, the social sciences have prioritized conducting “basic” research studies, often in non-naturalistic settings with convenience samples that enable us to isolate explanatory mechanisms of interest (c.f., Cialdini, 2009). While this shift in research approach has expedited the rate of discovery in one sense, the shift away from studying naturally occurring behavior in a variety of settings with diverse groups of people has created a tension—it has limited our ability to apply our findings to contemporary problems in the world (IJzerman, Lewis, et al., 2020). In this talk I will discuss the distinction between mechanisms for explaining behavior and mechanisms for changing behavior, and their implications for advancing social scientific theory (Earl & Lewis, 2019) as well as the development and scaling of interventions that leverage social psychological insights to improve social outcomes (Lewis et al., 2020).
May 18 12pm ET
Dr. Stefan Wojcik
Stefan Wojcik – Computational Social Science at Twitter
Twitter is a global service where people around the world connect with friends and exchange quick, frequent messages. It’s also where more than 1 in 5 Americans go to learn about what’s happening in the world. During a spiraling pandemic and an unprecedented national election where misinformation has thrived on and offline, the mission of surfacing facts and reporting that accurately depict current events in public life has rarely been as important or as scrutinized. In his talk, computational social scientist Stefan Wojcik discusses how his team acquires and processes attitudinal and behavioral data to understand how Twitter can create new tools to combat misinformation and online abuse.
Dec 15 12pm ET
Dr. Jon Green
Data for Progress: Using Social Science to Inform Advocacy and Activism
Data for Progress was formed in early 2018 with what was initially a fairly modest goal: use the best available tools from social science to check some of the worst excesses of political punditry. It has since grown into a think tank operating at the intersection of Democratic party politics, progressive media, public opinion research, and political activism. While still informing the public discussion about which familiar policy proposals are (and aren’t) popular, Data for Progress is now actively involved in putting new ideas from the activist community onto the public agenda, providing critical information and resources to a broader network of organizations in the progressive movement, and contesting the boundaries of the Democratic Party. In this talk, co-founder and NetSci postdoc Jon Green discusses how the organization developed, the work it does to advance its causes and aid its partner organizations, and how translational social science can be mutually informative for the academics and practitioners involved.