Data Science for the Public Good Forum

Data Science for the Public Good Forum

The University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute, Darden School of Business, and Data Science Institute in partnership with the Northern Virginia Technology Council announce the Data Science for the Public Good Forum, an opportunity for civic engagement, comprised of a Distinguished Speaker Series and Annual Symposium.

The Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG) Forum builds on the Biocomplexity Institute's highly successful and distinctive DSPG research platform that leverages cutting-edge public policy analytics and unprecedented data access, and serves as an honest broker to identify, visualize, and understand the full complement of interests that affect the public good. 

As central programs of the Forum, the Distinguished Speaker Series and Annual Symposium will bring together key public and private stakeholders to discuss how “doing data science” can support evidence-based policymaking and innovation to enhance the quality of life where we all live, learn, work, and play.

We can’t wait to begin these important conversations with you!

*Note: These events are being recorded by audio, video, and photographic means. By attending, you grant the University of Virginia the right to use your voice/likeness in any depiction of these events. 

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Data Science for the Public Good Distinguished Speaker Series

danah boyd

Speaker: danah boyd, partner researcher at Microsoft Research, the founder and president of Data & Society, and a visiting professor at New York University

Title: Data: Its Vulnerabilities and Legitimacy 

Abstract: Data-driven and algorithmic systems increasingly underpin many decision-making systems, shaping where law enforcement are stationed and what news you are shown on social media. The design of these systems is inscribed with organizational and cultural values. Often, these systems depend on the behavior of everyday people, who may not act as expected. Meanwhile, adversarial actors also seek to manipulate the data upon which these systems are built for personal, political, and economic reasons. In response to calls for algorithmic accountability, computer scientists may seek to "de-bias" data, build "fair" algorithms, or make their models interpretable. Yet, the attack surface goes far beyond the technical realm. In turn, this challenges the legitimacy of the data. 

Weaving together her work on media manipulation, search engine "data voids," and efforts to protect the 2020 U.S. Census, danah will help the audience think about the social and technical challenges that our data-centric world introduces. 

Bio: danah boyd is a partner researcher at Microsoft Research, the founder and president of Data & Society, and a visiting professor at New York University. danah boyd is also the author of multiple books which explore the relationship between everyday practices and social media. Her most recent monograph is titled, "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens" and received the Educators Book Award in 2015. To learn more about danah boyd, click here. 

Date: January 21, 2020
Talk and Q&A Session: 4:00-5:00pm
Reception: 5:00-6:30pm

Location: University of Virginia Darden School of Business Sands Family Grounds
1100 Wilson Boulevard, 30th Floor
Arlington, VA 22209

Register for the Distinguished Speaker Series

Download Flyer

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Past Forum Events

See our Events page for an archive of all Institute-sponsored events.

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Data Science for the Public Good Forum Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors for their support. It’s through their generous contributions that we’re able to deliver these Forum events as we continue to foster civic engagement and future discussions on the importance of doing data science to enhance the quality of life where we all live, learn, work, and play.

Interested in sponsoring the Data Science for the Public Good Forum events? Please read the sponsorship prospectus or contact Kevin Passarello, Director of Translational Programs and Development, at the UVA Biocomplexity Institute.

Bronze-level Sponsors


  • MITRE logo
  • Washington Statistical Society
  • NORC logo
  • AMSTAT logo
  • R Studio Sponsor Logo
  • SAGE Publishing logo
  • Westat sponsor logo
  • Avison Young Sponsor Logo

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DSPG Forum Sponsors