October 30: Data Science and Democracy – Fake News, Fake Realities?

October 30, 18:30-20:00 followed by reception

Cripps Court Auditorium (Chesterton Road, near Magdalene College main court)

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Big Data, Psychometrics, targeted advertising: Data Science is changing how politicians and other influencers interact with the public.

“Dark Ads” on Facebook are only shown to people with specific views, tailored to their interests and fears. Do they prevent the public debates that are so fundamental to democracy? Do psychometrics and the merging of methods from Data Science and psychology allow manipulation of public opinion on an unprecedented scale? Or is this all just exaggerated by the media and nothing has fundamentally changed? On the contrary, does data journalism provide a great opportunity for a well informed public debate?

Join us on to discuss these recent developments with the following speakers:

Dr. Mark Pack, co-author of 101 Ways To Win An Election and former Head of Innovations at the Liberal Democrats where he ran the party’s 2001 and 2005 internet general election campaigns (www.markpack.org.uk)

Megan Lucero, Director of the “data crunching hub” The Bureau Local at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Formerly the Data Journalism Editor at The Times and Sunday Times (www.thebureauinvestigates.com/profile/meganlucero)

Dr. David Stillwell, Deputy Director of The Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge and Lecturer in Big Data Analytics and Quantitative Social Science at the Cambridge Judge Business School (www.davidstillwell.co.uk)


Image by “gdsteam” publicly available on flickr under the creative commons licence (CC BY 2.0)