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PaCSS & PolNet 2020: Call for Proposals and Engagement

We are pleased to announce a joint virtual conference combining the annual Politics and Computational Social Science (PaCSS) and Political Networks (PolNet) conferences into one shared event to take place online during August 10-14. The conference will consist of a series of modular, daily sessions taking place between 11 am - 2:30 pm EDT. Sessions will include a mix of panels, mentoring groups, and semi-structured networking.

In light of the many personal and professional impacts felt by members of our community, PaCSS/PolNet 2020 will have an explicit focus on supporting the scholarly development of junior computational social scientists and will also create space for knowledge and resource sharing around COVID-19 and the long-term impacts of racial disparities. We hope that you will join us to share your work and support the continued growth of our diverse, interdisciplinary community.

The joint PaCSS/PolNet conference is using a shared submission process. To submit your work for consideration for a panel, please complete this form by Friday, July 10. 

If you are willing to serve as a mentor, discussant, or in another role supporting the scholarly development of junior computational social scientists, please complete this form by Friday, July 10.

Please email [log in to unmask] with any questions.

About PaCSS/PolNet

The data and methodologies available to social scientists have exploded with the emergence of archives of digital data collection, large scale online experimentation, and innovative uses of simulation. The analysis of these data requires more complex methodological approaches and greater computational complexity than the approaches that have dominated the study of politics for the last 50 years.

The analysis of digital data  offers the potential for rich insights into society at scale but it also introduces new ethical and infrastructural challenges. In parallel, the information and communication technologies that have driven this data revolution are also driving changes in politics, around the world, that require study.

In order to understand the political world, it is increasingly important to gain access to the political communication and behavior occurring online. PolNet started in 2008 at Harvard University and has held an annual workshop and conference for 100-150 scholars who seek training and scholarship in network theories and methodologies related to questions of politics. The complementary, but differently focused group PaCCS, started in 2018 and offers a forum for computational social science research in this emerging space. Examples of relevant topics/approaches include: analysis of social media; text analysis; use of finely granular geographic data; and large scale online experimentation. We actively seek, welcome, and encourage people from all fields, industries, backgrounds, experiences, and identities to apply and attend.

PaCSS 2020 is co-organized by David Lazer and Sarah Shugars, with support from Michael Bailey, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Sandra González-Bailón, Stan Oklobdzija, Derek Ruths, Kelsey Shoub, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, Rebekah Tromble, and Jennifer Victor.

The PolNet 2020 program committee consists of Rachel M. Blum (University of Oklahoma) and Elizabeth J. Menninga (University of Iowa), with additional support by the PolNet 2020 hosts at UMass Amherst: Justin H. Gross, Kevin L. Young, and Meredith Rolfe.


David Lazer

University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University
Co-Director, NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks
Visiting Scholar, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University

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