Erica Thompson LSE

Discover the CIVICA Data Science Seminar Series


Dr Erica Thompson of the LSE Data Science Institute provides information on an interdisciplinary seminar series that explores the real-world impact of data science research.

The CIVICA Data Science Seminar Series is hosted by Europe's leading social science research institutions and brought together by the CIVICA research network. As a member of the CIVICA network, the LSE Data Science Institute (DSI) takes part in this series that spans different disciplines, with a variety of approaches.

Senior Policy Fellow in Ethics of Modelling and Simulation Dr Erica Thompson is the DSI's representative within the seminar management committee and introduces the seminar series in the video below.

The seminars form a multi-disciplinary series focused on applications and methodologies of data science for the social, political, and economic world. The aim is to allow researchers to share original, new work or work in progress in order to get methodological or technical comments and suggestions.

As the DSI's representative, Erica's role is to aid coordination of the seminars and to ensure that the invited speakers cover a broad range of topics. This range of topics is key in order to accurately address the CIVICA network's aim to provide an interdisciplinary series that exhibits how data science can be applied to social contexts. 

As Erica outlines, the series aims to make leading research available to students and researchers from across the CIVICA network in an accessible manner. Seminars are not overly technical, which enables attendees to engage meaningfully with data science research that has the potential to make a real-world impact. Attendees also benefit from the opportunity to discuss this research directly with those conducting it.

Another key aim of the series is to highlight the value of collaboration by further widening the audience of this research to include those from across the CIVICA network. This broadens the feedback that is provided to the speaker.

In the video, Erica guides us through the topics of past seminars which have explored such real-world issues as social media, visualising COVID-19, climate change and misinformation in the media. Erica also offers a recent seminar hosted by Professor Suzy Moat as her favourite of the series to date. Suzy described how AI can help us to understand how beautiful places impact our health and happiness. 

The DSI is proud to contribute to the CIVICA Data Science Seminar Series and hopes to translate the aims of the series in its role as the institutional cornerstone of data science activity at the London School of Economics. The DSI works alongside academic departments and School divisions to foster the study of data science and new forms of data with a focus on their social, economic, and political aspects.

At this pivotal moment in history, the DSI is working to bring the School’s considerable expertise to bear on the global data science debate by embedding data science across both teaching and research and by providing a focal point for multi-disciplinary collaboration.

The CIVICA Data Science Seminar Series takes place in a webinar format, fortnightly on Wednesday afternoons. New attendees and suggestions of potential speakers are always welcome, with an in-person event intended to take place at some point in future. Keep up to date via the mailing list and find recordings of past seminars on the DSI YouTube channel.

The partner institutions are the LSE Data Science InstituteHertie School Data Science LabCEU Department of Network and Data ScienceBocconi Institute for Data Science and AnalyticsSciences Po médialab and European University Institute Tech Cluster

Video and text by LSE’s editorial team