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Datatopia: The Future of Scientific Discovery Through a Data Lens

Start: September 29, 2022 @ 12:30 pm

End: September 30, 2022 @ 2:00 pm


Times are shown in Eastern Time

How to Participate:


Colloquium Public Lectures: Sept 29, 12:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Wolverine Room, Michigan Union

No registration is required for Colloquium Public Lectures.


Faculty Conversation Laboratory: Sept 30, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Clark Maps Library, 2nd Floor, Hatcher Graduate Library Building

Register for the Conversation Library. The Conversation Laboratory is intended for faculty and researchers to collaborate and share ideas in a professional setting, and are not open to the general public.Capacity is limited to 30 attendees. When the attendee roster is finalized, MIDAS will inform each registrant via email.

For more details about the Conversation Laboratory, visit the Datatopia Colloquium webpage.




Data science is advancing scientific discovery in multiple ways, from protein folding to galaxy formation. Furthermore, it evidences the social mechanisms within scientific institutions more apt for innovation. To what extent, then, can data science elicit a radical restructuring of scientific practice? Can we harness its full potential? In this colloquium we will explore the promises data science has for scientific inquiry while also taking a critical view on the processes of science-making and data extraction, analysis and implementation. Join us to engage with the data science of science and the science of data science through workshops and an afternoon of talks by guest speakers.




Katy Börner, professor of information science at Indiana University in Bloomington, uses visualization techniques to study the structure of scientific ontologies and the systems through which scientific collaboration is carried out. Professor Börner is the curator of Places and Spaces: Mapping Science, a comprehensive exhibit mapping ideas, organizations, and infrastructures in science and technology.

The Places and Spaces exhibit can be viewed in the Clark Maps Library on the second floor of Hatcher Graduate Library for a limited time!


Nick Couldry (Professor of Media, Communications, and Social Theory at the London School of Economics), and Ulises Mejias (Professor of Communication Studies at SUNY Oswego) are the authors of The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Colonization.

In their work they study the harms in data extraction and datafication, and through the Tierra Común network engage with communities, academics, and activists to reclaim data for a socially aware and ethical purpose. Tierra Común brings together activists, citizens and scholars who want data to be decolonized and rejects data colonialism as the latest manifestation in modernity of the Global North’s desire for domination.


Jacob Foster, associate professor of Sociology at UCLA, studies knowledge production from a computational viewpoint. His interests span collective intelligence, the adoption of ideas, the conditions that produce innovation in science, and the cultural dynamics around the creation and use of technological objects. He is the Co-Director of the Diverse Intelligences Summer institute, a program for academic exploration on all forms of social, biological, and artificial intelligence.


Ágnes Horvát is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern in the Department of Communication Studies, (by courtesy) the Computer Science Department of the McCormick School of Engineering, and (also by courtesy) the Department of Management and Organizations of the Kellogg School of Management. Her research seeks to measure, understand, and forecast the collective behaviour of networked crowds in large-scale socio-technical systems.


This event is being organized by:

It is co-sponsored by the Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (ESC).

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