I was a co-organiser, with Prof. Barbara Fennell, of Policy-making, Text Analysis, and Big Data: A Workshop in Digital Humanities and Knowledge Exchange, which was held at the University of Aberdeen, June 30 in the Sir Duncan Rice Library.
The THiNK network is for Knowledge Exchange in the Arts and Humanities in the UK. It provides a forum in which various parties exchange knowledge about funding ideas and opportunities. I was a presenter at a recent THiNK Event in London and see also my previous post.
The follow-on workshop, Policy-making, Text Analysis, and Big Data: A Workshop in Digital Humanities/Knowledge Exchange focussed on issues relating to Text Analysis, Policy-making, and Big Data. The underlying idea is that we have to harvest textual data on a large scale in order to assist with public policy-making. The full announcement, slides, and further notes about the workshop are at the link above; below is some extracted information.
Policy-making and the law are fundamental to communal life and social progress. Given that policies and law are expressed in language and in social contexts, they are a natural “object” to study in the Humanities. One new approach is to apply current text analytic and information retrieval tools to better understand the substance of the policy documents, deliberative discourse, and related documents. More broadly, textual analysis and retrieval is at the heart of a range of interdisciplinary and applied research; it is a key element of Digital Humanities. While small scale studies are feasible and illuminating, it is essential to scale up research to handle the abundance of textual information, so-called ‘Big Data’. We have organised a workshop of speakers and discussion sessions to consider the state-of-the art in policy-making, textual analysis, and Big Data as well as the opportunities for cross-disciplinary research and development. The workshop brings together academic researchers, SMEs, and the Public Sector to exchange knowledge and outline project proposals in Digital Humanities.
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By Adam Wyner
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