Opinion: Building a 21st-Century Infrastructure for the Social Sciences

Moran, Emilio F.; Hofferth, Sandra L.; Eckel, Catherine C.; Hamilton, Darrick; Entwisle, Barbara; Aber, J. Lawrence; Brady, Henry E.; Conley, Dalton C.; Cutter, Susan L.; Hubacek, Klaus; & Scholz, John T. (2014). Opinion: Building a 21st-Century Infrastructure for the Social Sciences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(45), 15855-6. PMCID: PMC4234554

Moran, Emilio F.; Hofferth, Sandra L.; Eckel, Catherine C.; Hamilton, Darrick; Entwisle, Barbara; Aber, J. Lawrence; Brady, Henry E.; Conley, Dalton C.; Cutter, Susan L.; Hubacek, Klaus; & Scholz, John T. (2014). Opinion: Building a 21st-Century Infrastructure for the Social Sciences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(45), 15855-6. PMCID: PMC4234554

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The social sciences are poised for a transformation. New data from the Internet and social media, when combined with newly available administrative and transactional data, have the potential to greatly expand the questions that can be addressed, as well as the spatial and temporal scales at which they can be addressed. For example, by using data from social networking sites, business transactions, smart phones, and online experiments, we can learn about labor market and consumer behavior and assess vulnerability to weather events and the impact of local and national policies and programs in real time. Indeed, behavior and human well-being are situation and place specific, and vulnerable populations tend to be spatially clustered rather than randomly distributed. To generate analyses that incorporate this spatial variability will require entirely new ways to collect, and link, diverse data to improve population health, reduce environmental and social vulnerabilities, and better prepare people for the jobs of the future. It is time to embrace the “big data” revolution and capitalize on advances in information technology and data science as they apply to the specific needs and challenges of the social sciences. In short, we need a new social science data infrastructure for the 21st century.


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1A
2d


JOUR



Moran, Emilio F.
Hofferth, Sandra L.
Eckel, Catherine C.
Hamilton, Darrick
Entwisle, Barbara
Aber, J. Lawrence
Brady, Henry E.
Conley, Dalton C.
Cutter, Susan L.
Hubacek, Klaus
Scholz, John T.



2014


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

111

45

15855-6








PMC4234554


8795

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