Data Dreams

STSC-360

Etienne Benson

Wednesday, 3:30pm-6:30PM

The idea of solving problems by collecting as much data as possible about them is an old dream that has recently been revitalized with the help of new technologies and new ways of organizing knowledge production. This course examines the hunger for data from a historical and social perspective, seeking to understand when, why, and how the collection of vast amounts of data has come to seem valuable and desirable, sometimes in ways that exceed any reasonable expectation of utility or feasibility. Topics include state surveillance, online tracking, the quantified self, citizen science, civic hacking, human genomics, bioinformatics, and climate modeling.

Fall 2018