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Fundamental questions for the social sciences. A lecture series by the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The first AISSR lecture was given by Chris Bail, one of the foremost computational social scientists.
Event details of AISSR Lecture: The past, present and future of computational social science
21 September 2023
15:30 -17:00

Watch the full lecture here

Integration of social science with computer science and engineering has given birth to a dynamic and evolving discipline: Computational Social Science. This field harnesses the power of computational methods to explore previously uncharted territories of human behavior and social processes in the digital age. By analyzing vast streams of digital data, including social media interactions, administrative records, and historical archives, it seeks to test existing theories while also crafting innovative perspectives on how society functions in today's online spaces.

Chris Bail traced the remarkable journey of Computational Social Science: from its origins on the fringes to its current status as a mainstream field in universities worldwide. Discover the exciting future prospects and challenges that lie ahead, including the emergence of generative artificial intelligence, evolving data accessibility in online spaces, and the imperative of fostering a more diverse community of scholars to address historical disparities within the field. 


The lecture was followed by a discussion between Chris Bail and Ashley Mears, our new professor of Sociology of Culture and Media from January 2024 on.

About Chris Bail

Bail is Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Public Policy at Duke University, where he founded the Polarization Lab. He is one of the foremost computational social scientists and co-founder of the world-wide network of Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science. 

About Ashley Mears

Ashley Mears is professor of sociology at Boston University and will join the University of Amsterdam from January 2024 on, as a professor of cultural sociology.

She researches labor, valuation, and intimate exchanges in market and non-market settings. In her recent work she uses ethnographic methods to study the political economy of digital platforms and social media.