DERC 2022 seminar series on responsible data science

March 25, 2022

We’re thrilled to offer a series of six conversational seminars focusing on challenges and values of using interdisciplinary approaches to build responsible data science.

How much does a scientist’s training in a specific discipline affect how they see and study the world? A lot. How much can scientists benefit from the knowledge domains outside their specialization, to better understand and solve critical issues of concern in the world? A lot.

Tackling the “big issues” requires scientists to more fully embrace the importance of interdisciplinary ecosystems

This series brings together diverse voices from disparate disciplines like computer science and cultural studies to talk about their definitions of interdisciplinarity, as well as struggles and commitment to this practice. This series also brings seasoned scholars together with Early Career Researchers to share practices across these levels.

Each seminar is unique, but builds from the core premise that today’s “big issues” demand more attention to interdisciplinarity and that everyone benefits when research ecosystems integrate multiple perspectives, even when this is challenging and time consuming.

DERC is co-sponsoring this series on “Interdisciplinary Data Science” with University of Cambridge’s Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy

The first Seminar will be March 31, 2022, among the following experts across computer and social sciences

Gina Neff, Ph.D

“Training next generation of leaders to ensure technology is only ever a force for good”

Gina Neff is the Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology & Democracy at the University of Cambridge and Professor of Technology & Society at the University of Oxford. Her books include Venture Labor (MIT Press 2012), Self-Tracking (MIT Press 2016) and Human-Centered Data Science (MIT Press 2022). Her research focuses on the effects of the rapid expansion of our digital information environment on workers and workplaces and in our everyday lives. Professor Neff holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University and advises international organisations including UNESCO, the OECD and the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. She chairs the International Scientific Committee of the UK’s Trusted Autonomous Systems programme and is a member of the Strategic Advisory Network for the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council. Her academic research has won both engineering and social sciences awards. She also led the team that won the 2021 Webby for the best educational website on the Internet, for the A to Z of AI, which has reached over a million people in 17 different languages.

Xiuzhen (Jenny) Zhang, Ph.D
Professor of Data Science
RMIT University

“Data Science for social good”
Jenny’s research interests include data science, social media data analysis and mining, text mining, and machine learning. She has published extensively on these topics. Her research has been supported by the Australian Research Council, the Victoria state government and industry partners. She currently leads an ARC Discovery project on detection and mitigation of misinformation on social media. 

Jey Han Lau, Ph.D.
Lecturer of Natural Language Processing
The University of Melbourne

“Discovering new ethical issues through multidisciplinary collaborations”

Jey Han’s research focus is Natural Language Processing, where the goal is to develop computational models to understand human languages. His research is guided by a diverse flavour of applications, e.g. topic models, lexical semantics, text generation and misinformation detection. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, he spent over 3.5 years as an industry scientist at IBM Research, developing solutions for clients in application domains from education to government.

Nikolaos Aletras, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer of Natural Language Processing
Sheffield University

Nikolaos’s research interests focus on NLP, Machine Learning and Data Science. Specifically, he is interested in developing computational, methods for social media analysis and the law, ML for NLP and information retrieval methods for improving access to large document collections.

Annette Markham, Ph.D.
Professor of Media & Communication
RMIT University

“Challenges of scale, logics, and time”

Annette is a methodologist and ethics expert and researcher of digital culture. She has conducted applied research across corporate, governmental, and academic sectors. Currently, Markham co-directs DERC, the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, is founder and co-director of The International Skagen Institute for Transgressive Methods, and the co-director of STEEM, the Center for the Study of Technological, Emerging, and Ethical Methods in Denmark.