Small Data for Big Impact

Liz Luckett at the Stanford Social Innovation Review: “As an investor in data-driven companies, I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandfather—a baker, a small business owner, and, I now realize, a pioneering data scientist. Without much more than pencil, paper, and extraordinarily deep knowledge of his customers in Washington Heights, Manhattan, he bought, sold, and […]

How Universities Are Tackling Society’s Grand Challenges

Michelle Popowitz and Cristin Dorgelo in Scientific American: “…Universities embarking on Grand Challenge efforts are traversing new terrain—they are making commitments about research deliverables rather than simply committing to invest in efforts related to a particular subject. To mitigate risk, the universities that have entered this space are informally consulting with others regarding effective strategies, but the entire […]

‘Epic Duck Challenge’ shows drones can outdo people at surveying wildlife

Jarrod Hodgson, Aleks Terauds and Lian Pin Koh in the Conversation:”Ecologists are increasingly using drones to gather data. Scientists have used remotely piloted aircraft to estimate the health of fragile polar mosses, to measure and predict the mass of leopard seals, and even to collect whale snot. Drones have also been labelled as game-changers for wildlife population monitoring. But once the […]

An AI That Reads Privacy Policies So That You Don’t Have To

Andy Greenberg at Wired: “…Today, researchers at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan announced the release of Polisis—short for “privacy policy analysis”—a new website and browser extension that uses their machine-learning-trained app to automatically read and make sense of any online service’s privacy policy, so you […]

You weren’t supposed to have to think about politics

Bonnie Kristian at The Week: “You were not supposed to have to think about politics. Not this much, anyway. Good citizenship was not supposed to entail paying obsessive attention to a 24-hour news cycle. It was not supposed to demand conversational knowledge, at any given moment, of at least 15 issues of national importance. It was […]

World’s biggest city database shines light on our increasingly urbanised planet

EU Joint Research Centers: “The JRC has launched a new tool with data on all 10,000 urban centres scattered across the globe. It is the largest and most comprehensive database on cities ever published. With data derived from the JRC’s Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL), researchers have discovered that the world has become even more urbanised […]

The End of the End of History?

Introduction to Special Issue of The Hedgehog Review: “Although Francis Fukuyama never said the triumph of liberal democracy was inevitable, his qualified declaration of the “the end of history” captured the optimistic, sometimes naive tenor of the early post-Cold War era. But how quickly that confidence faded! Unmistakable signs of history’s resumption began to appear […]

Opening Government to Improve Outcomes

Laura Wesley at Canada Beyond 150: “Open Government is a concept. It’s a view into government. It’s an invitation to stakeholders, citizens and civil society to help shape government decisions and actions. It is not a program or policy, yet both can be part of achieving the vision of a government that encourages civic participation, invites […]

A science that knows no country: Pandemic preparedness, global risk, sovereign science

Paper by J. Benjamin Hurlbut: “… examines political norms and relationships associated with governance of pandemic risk. Through a pair of linked controversies over scientific access to H5N1 flu virus and genomic data, it examining the duties, obligations, and allocations of authority articulated around the imperative for globally free-flowing information and around the corollary imperative […]

Handbook of Research on Modernization and Accountability in Public Sector Management

Book edited by Graça Maria do Carmo Azevedo, Jonas da Silva Oliveira, Rui Pedro Figueiredo Marques, and Augusta da Conceição Santos Ferreira: “The effects of recent economic and financial crises have reached an international scale. A number of different nations have experienced the fallout of these events, calling into question issues of accountability and reform […]