The digital revolution has democratized the consumption and production of news and information. While this has created a platform for voices previously unheard, there has also been an increase in false news stories, memes, and outright lies. This comes from all sides of the political spectrum, industry, and society. Yet democracy and collective decision-making depend on an informed citizenry. This lecture will talk about some of the reasons behind this onslaught of misinformation and how we as a society can overcome it.
All proceeds benefit for this event will support the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County (LWV-SKC), a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Jevin D. West is an Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington and co-founder of the DataLab. Broadly, he works in the area of data science and data reasoning. His core research centers around the Science of Science. He asks questions about the origins of scientific disciplines, the biases within science that drive these disciplines, and the impact the current publication system has on the health of science. He also develops machine learning techniques for mining scientific text, citations and figures. Example projects include Eigenfactor.org and Viziometric.org. More details on his research and teaching can be found at: jevinwest.org.
Carl Bergstrom is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. Though trained in evolutionary biology and mathematical population genetics, Carl is perhaps best known for working crossing field boundaries and integrating ideas across the span of the natural and social sciences. The unifying theme that runs through all of Carl’s work is the concept of information. Within biology, he studies problems such as how communication evolves and how the process of evolution by natural selection creates the information that is encoded in genomes. In the philosophy and sociology of science, he studies how the incentives created by scientific institutions shape scholars’ research strategies and, in turn, our scientific understanding of the world. In physics and network science, he explores how to extract the relevant information from massive networks comprising tens of millions of nodes, and how information flows through networks of this scale. Within informatics, he studies how citations and other traces of scholarly activity can be used to better navigate the overwhelming volume of scholarly literature.