Members of the Data Science Studies Working Group chat about their work. Photo by Robin Brooks

Members of the Data Science Studies Working Group chat about their work. Photo by Robin Brooks

Working Group Co-Lead: Anissa Tanweer, Research Scientist

Working Group Co-Lead: Cecilia Aragon, Director of the Human-Centered Data Science Laboratory

The University of Washington Data Science Studies Working Group is composed of cross-disciplinary researchers studying the sociocultural and organizational processes around the emerging practice of data science. As a sub-field of Science and Technology Studies, we utilize a variety of qualitative and computational methods to understand the changing scientific practices, knowledge infrastructures, and cultural values that are shaping the environment for data-intensive scientific research.

This encompasses, but is not limited to, research focused around topics such as: the cultural and institutional contexts for open science, open software and open data, tool building and scientific workflow, new pedagogical models for data science education, how disciplines are adapting to the demands of data-intensive science, new epistemologies and social implications of data-intensive science, human-centered data science, and studies of sociotechnical data science ecosystems.

A photo of data science books on a shelf

Read our blog on Medium and find our presentation materials on SlideShare.

Supported through the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments, the UW Data Science Studies Working Group is multi-sited and collaborative, in partnership with researchers at Berkeley Institute for Data Science and the Center for Data Science at New York University.

We invite participation from anyone who may be interested in these areas of study or in any kind of reflexive research around data science. The working group meeting will be a place to convene once a month to discuss research, read scholarly work related to this subfield, and support future research collaborations.

If you are interested in joining the Data Science Studies conversation and hearing about our events, you can join our email list.


Date Title and host Speaker(s) and presentations Further reading
5/9/18 “Libraries in the age of big data, data science, and digital connectivity: Continuities, disruptions, and opportunities”

Host: Anissa Tanweer

Jennifer Muilenburg, UW Libraries

Presentation: “Introduction to the theme”

Carole Palmer, Assistant Professor, UW iSchool

Slides: “Information Schools, Library Science & Data Science”

Chris Coward, TASCHA

Slides: “Opportunities and limitations of using data science to advance reading and literacy in the global south” 

Verletta Kern & Elliott Stevens, UW Libraries

Slides: “Changing roles of libraries”

Meeting notes


4/11/18 “Harm and beyond: What the data science community is doing to address ethical concerns … and why it’s necessary but insufficient”

Host: Anissa Tanweer

Bernease Herman, Data Scientist, eScience Institute

Slides: “Countering Harm: Computational Approaches to a More Ethical Data Science”

Anna Lauren Hoffman, Assistant Professor, Information School

Slides: “Amplifying Harm: When Data, Algorithms, and Cultural Violence Collide”

Meeting notes

Draft essay Hoffman’s presentation is based on: “Data Violence: How Bad Engineering Choices Can Damage Society”

2/14/18 Data Science from the Bottom Up

Host: Anissa Tanweer

Grégoire Lurton, PhDc, Global Health

Slides: Local Practice or Global Norm? The border between local and global Health Metrics

Meeting notes
10/11/17 “What the hack? Reflecting on hacking and hackweeks in academia”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Meeting notes

Huppenkothen, et al. (2017). Hack weeks as a model for data science education and collaboration,, 1711.00028.

Drouhard, M., Tanweer, A. and Fiore-Gartland, B. A typology of hackathon events hackathon workshop, CSCW ’17, February 25, 2017, Portland, OR

The problematic paper we touched on: Feldon, D. F., Jeong, S., Peugh, J., Roksa, J., Maahs-Fladung, C., Shenoy, A., & Oliva, M. (2017). Null effects of boot camps and short-format training for PhD students in life sciencesProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(37), 9854-9858.
4/26/17 “Ethics and the Internet of Things”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Alison Powell, Assistant Professor, Media and Communications, London School of Economics

Slides: Ethics and the Internet of Things

Meeting notes

Virt EU project

4/12/17 “Human-Centered Data Science”

Host: Cecilia Aragon

Daniela Rosner, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design and Engineering

Slides: Crowd Sourced Design 

Dan Suciu, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Slides: Data Privacy Basics

Meeting notes

Readings: Daniela Rosner, Big Data, Diminished Design 

Cynthia Dwork: A firm foundation for private data analysis. Commun. ACM 54(1): 86-95 (2011)

3/8/17 “Democratizing Data Science: Perspectives from the Community Data Science Workshop and Software Carpentry”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Benjamin Mako Hill, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

Slides: Democratizing Data Science

Ariel Rokem, Senior Data Scientist, eScience Institute

Slides: Software Carpentry and the Democratization of Data Science

Meeting notes

Community Data Science Workshops

Software Carpentry

2/18/17 “Critical Data Literacies”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Sayamindu Dasgupta, Postdoctoral Fellow, eScience Institute

Slides: Youth Perspectives on Critical Data Literacies

Jevin West, Assistant Professor, iSchool

Slides: Calling Bullshit

Meeting notes

Paper: Youth Perspectives on Critical Data Literacies by Samantha Hautea, Sayamindu Dasgupta, and Benjamin Mako Hill

Blog post: Supporting children in doing data science by Sayamindu Dasgupta

1/11/17 “Democratization of Data Science”

Hosts: Meg Drouhard and Sarah Nelson

Kelly Edwards, Professor, Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington Meeting notes

Environmental Health Collaborative

Paper: Citizen science or scientific citizenship? Disentangling the uses of public engagement rhetoric in national research initiatives

Book chapter: Data’s End Run Around Anonymity and Consent (on the shortcomings of consent and anonymity) by Solon Barocas and Helen Nissenbaum

11/9/16 “Data Science and Pedagogy”

Host: Jaime Snyder

Panelists included: Bill Howe (UW), Jevin West (UW),  Amelia Acker (University of Texas at Austin) and Katie Shilton (University of Maryland)
Meeting notes

Paper: The Data Goldrush in Education by Jevin West and Jason Portenoy

10/12/16 “Cross-Sector Collaboration in Data Science”

Host: Anissa Tanweer

Panelists included: Nick Bolten (Co-Lead, UW OpenSidewalks), Candace Faber (Civic Technology Advocate, City of Seattle), Mark Hallenbeck (Director, UW Washington State Transportation Center), Janice Hellman (Performance Analyst, Washington State Department of Transportation), Clifford Snow (Volunteer Contributor, OpenStreetMap), Graham Thompson (Seattle Civic Tech Manager, Microsoft), Matthew Weidner (Systems Analyst for Demand-Responsive Transportation, King County Metro) Meeting notes
6/8/16 “Transparency, Seamful Design, and Data Science”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Sarah Fox, PhD student, Human Centered Design and Engineering

Slides: Digital interventions on Cartographic Visibility: Reflecting on and circulating socio-spatial differences through digital systems (with Meredith Lampe and Daniela Rosner)

Jeff Heer, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Slides: Stanford Dissertation Browser (Jason Chuang, Dan Ramage, Christopher Manning)

Meeting notes

Paper: Interpretation and Trust: Designing Model-Driven Visualizations for Text Analysis, Jason Chuang et al.

Amazon doesn’t consider the race of their customers. Should it?, Ingold and Soper, 2016, Bloomberg

Algorithms and experiments make strange bedfellows at SXSW, Wood, 2016, ComputerWorld

A path to understanding the effectiveness of algorithm awareness, Hamilton et al. 2014, alt: CHI

How Much Information? Effects of Transparency on Trust in an Algorithmic Interface, Kizilcec, 2016, CHI

 4/13/16  “The Emergence of Data Science in Academia: Opportunities and Tensions Across Disciplines”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Brittany Fiore-Gartland, Postdoctoral Fellow, eScience Institute and Human Centered Design and Engineering

Slides: The Emergence of Data Science in Academia; Opportunities and Tensions Across Disciplines (Fiore-Gartland)

Alex Franks, Postdoctoral Fellow, eScience Institute, Department of Statistics

Meeting notes

50 years of Data Science, David Donoho, 2015.

Statistical Modeling: The Two Cultures, Leo Breiman, Statistical Science 2001, Vol. 16, No. 3, 199–231.

 3/9/16 “Data Privacy”

Host: Brittany Fiore-Gartland

Sarah Nelson,  PhD student, Public Health Genetics

Slides: Inherently Identifiable: Risks and Responses to Privacy in Genetic Databases

Meg Young, PhD student, iSchool

Slides: Seattle’s Open Data Initiative: Legal Context, Promise, and Perils

Meeting notes

Privacy Protections: The Genome Hacker, Ericka Check Hayden, Nature, May 8, 2013.

Seattle Installs New System to Track Individuals Drivers, David Kroman,, September 8, 2015.

Open Data Can Help Fulfill the Government’s Decades-Old Promise of Equality, Joshua New, Center for Data Innovation, August 17, 2015.

1/27/16 Introductory Session Brittany Fiore-Gartland, Postdoctoral Fellow, eScience Institute and Human Centered Design and Engineering

Slides: Data Science Studies: An Introduction and Invitation

 Meeting notes