Dr Chico Camargo is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Science at the OII. He is an interdisciplinary researcher who uses tools from complex systems, data science and evolutionary biology to develop new computational approaches to questions in the social sciences, focusing on public opinion dynamics, collective human behaviour and culture change. He is also a member of the #SocialHumanities network and of the PastNet network, at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

Chico graduated with a BSc from the University of São Paulo, as part of the Molecular Sciences Programme, and later worked in mathematical modelling in biology at the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, and at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. He then moved to a PhD (DPhil) in systems biology, also at Oxford, as a Clarendon Scholar in Brasenose College. In his PhD research, he used tools from complex systems and machine learning to investigate the physical principles that rule biological evolution.

Apart from doing science himself, Chico is also passionate about communicating it to wider audiences. He has spoken at science communication events such as FameLab, as well as Oxford’s Science Cabaret, and is also part of the award-winning YouTube educational channel BláBláLogia, which hosts videos in Portuguese on topics ranging from space travel to ecology to film making.

Position held at OII:

  • Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Science, January 2018 –
  • Research Assistant in Complex Networks, May 2017 – 2018

Research Interests:

computational social science, social data science, applications of machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), public opinion dynamics, complex systems,  collective behaviour, cultural evolution, digital humanities, algorithmic information theory


Current projects

  • Current Affairs 2.0: Agenda setting in the European Union

    Participants: Dr Scott Hale, Fabian Flöck, Przemyslaw Grabowicz, David Jurgens, Chico Camargo

    This project seeks to measure and explain what societal issues are given the highest priorities by media organizations, policy makers, and the general public in different nations and languages of the European Union.

  • Mapping Playful Spaces in the Museum

    Participants: Dr Kathryn Eccles, Dr Chico Camargo

    This project seeks to use social media data to enhance our understanding of ‘playful’ behaviour across Oxford’s gardens, libraries, and museums, looking for new types of visitor engagement.

  • Political Volatility

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Scott Hale, Dr Chico Camargo, Dr Myrto Pantazi, Professor Peter John

    This project seeks to quantify trends and changes in the volatility of public opinion before and after widespread use of social media, and to study how social information can drive public opinion.

  • TRANSNET: Forecasting and understanding transport network resilience and anomalies

    Participants: Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Jonathan Bright, Dr Graham McNeill, Chico Camargo

    This project seeks to utilise newly available data to help urban policy makers improve transport infrastructure to cope with growing and increasingly mobile populations.


  • Transnet: Understanding traffic with open data and visualization

    Recorded: 26 July 2018

    Duration: 00:42:30

    This presentation, hosted by the Alan Turing Institute focuses on using crowd-sourced data, such as OpenStreetMap and Waze, to improve traffic models and better understand the factors contributing to traffic jams and other traffic issues.