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Digital Social Research: An Interdisciplinary Niche or the Future of the Social Sciences?

With Professor Peter van den Besselaar
12 Mar 2012
With Professor Peter van den Besselaar

Peter starts his talk by describing the crisis in the social sciences, for which interdisciplinarity is often seen as the (a) solution. He then moves to the nature of ‘interdisciplinarity’ as a transitional stage in knowledge development, based on a range of empirical (bibliometric) studies. He shows some of the core characteristics of interdisciplinary research, and investigates how digital social science can be positioned in terms of these characteristics. This leads to a discussion of whether digital social research is an interdisciplinary collaboration niche between social science and computer science, or a solution for the main problems of social research.

This is a Keynote talk from the Oxford Internet Institute’s Symposium “Social Science and Digital Research: Interdisciplinary Insights”, held in Oxford on 12 March 2012.



Professor Peter van den Besselaar

Endowed Professor of Organization and Dynamics of Science, Free University of Amsterdam