Gina Neff Profile picture
Professor @UniofOxford @oiioxford @sociologyoxford. Co-wrote a book that one reviewer helpfully called "easily the best book I’ve come across on the subject."
eDo Profile picture mike norrie Profile picture Izaak Khaliq Profile picture Feneley and Co Profile picture Chris Black Profile picture 6 added to My Authors
24 Aug
A case study: Ethics alone are not enough to ensure fairness in algorithmic systems.

@_KarenHao on the UK's A-level mess with quotes from me, @FryRsquared and @techchildrights…

The best minds in AI ethics are not even one step removed from this mess.
The goals here were clear: preserve standardisation in unprecedented times. But public trust? Fairness? Equity? People in charge ranked those goals lower than that of standardising marks across schools. But absence of 'ground truth' here -- 2020 individual exam results --> FAIL.
We need instead to understand how these systems are rolled out in practice -- not just open the so-called black box but what's around that box: who built it, who is using it, what are they doing with it, who do they think it is for, what do people know/THINK they know about it.
Read 4 tweets
19 Aug
Covid is now the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.

In only six months since the first reported cases.
1. Heart Disease 647,457
2. Cancer 599,108
<Insert Covid here: 171,833>
3. Accidents 169,936
Data are for 2017 and cover the whole year. Of course we've only had 6 months of Covid data in 2020 (Feb-Aug), but already it it is the third top cause of death in the US.…
Read 4 tweets
17 Aug
So is today a good day to talk about the gap between how AI & algorithmic systems work and how people SAY they work?

A thread about our new report 1/12
Last week we launched AI@Work, a report on the past year in the structual challenges of AI implementation.… 2/12
What we find is a gap between the social and technological infrastructures to make AI systems work fairly, safely and effectively. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
24 Jun
This study found that for each year of a funders' research grant cycle, academics collectively spent the equivalent of 550 years preparing them.…
They calculated the cost for academics' time preparing grants for this one cycle at AU$66 million, or 14% of the total of the grant money distributed.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 @RHendery 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Image
Read 4 tweets
21 Jun
We're going to read @tressiemcphd's Thick in my White Ladies' Anti-Racism Book Club and I couldn't be more excited!
I might have had something to do with this choice.
Read this book. Thick blew me for dealing with complex social theory in such a deeply personal and moving way.

Thick is perfect for White Ladies' Anti-Racism book clubs. And white lady book clubs. And book clubs period. Or by yourself with a tub of ice cream.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jun
History is the best troll.

This is Confederate General John Hunt Morgan. In July 2018, the Lexington (KY) city council quietly moved this statue from Main Street in front of the courthouse to here:

Facing the 929 dead US Army soldiers buried in the Lexington Cemetery.
1/23 ImageImage
I like to think there's some fitting historical context here. Let me explain. 2/23
"A harvest of death" was how Lt Col E. B. Whitman described his grisly and difficult work of bringing back the bodies of Union dead to reinter at then newly created national cemeteries like this one in downtown Lexington. 3/23 Image
Read 24 tweets
3 Jun
What will #realcollege look like in the fall?

The institutions like the ones in this NYT article represent only about 1/2 of US higher ed -- private & public 4 year not-for-profits.

What happens for the other half: 2 year & for-profit institutions?…
"Ohio State is a large community of 100,000 people."

So quaint.

@CUNY has 257,000 students. Was there a reason that the NYT snubbed the largest higher ed institution in its city?
The stories we tell about coronavirus matter. College isn't just dorms and football games. In fact, 1 in 3 college students don't go the types of colleges they are talking about in this article; they go to for-profit schools or 2 year colleges. What is happening there?
Read 7 tweets
30 May
I'm a parent. Here's what I need to know from the UK Government before I can decide if it is safe to send my kids back to school. 1/
Many scientific advisors including @JeremyFarrar say it is too early to reopen. Can the government assure parents that they have met their own benchmarks for safely reopening? 2/
Why can the government tell parents why they not followed the scientific advice on reopening schools? Both Sage and @IndependentSage suggest it is too early. What evidence supports the government's decision to reopen now?
Read 19 tweets
30 Apr
To fight this pandemic we must use stories.

Here's a story: So-called superspreader "events" for coronavirus in the US are among the poor, working class and marginalized. And they are at their work.

To get ahead and stop this virus we must tell the right stories. (thread)
There is so, so much wrong with the Q*uilet** story that inspired this rant that I won’t link to it. But @trishgreenhalgh analysis is spot on: Let's just make sure we tell the RIGHT stories.
The 10 biggest clusters of infection in the US are not high-flying international gatherings. The 10 biggest clusters are not rich people going to Europe. The 10 biggest clusters are not from airplanes or conferences or fancy birthday parties. They are NOT from outsiders.
Read 25 tweets
22 Mar
OK UK artists: our kids are home from school indefinitely. Can we make a list of readings, YouTube videos, activities from writers and illustrators? I’ll start. 1/many (hopefully)
Humza Arshad @HumzaProduction reads from Little Bad Man, @Karyn_Parsons talks about How High the Moon, and @chrisriddell50 does a sketchalong in this 30 minute episode from the great Puffin Story Makers series
Emma Carroll @emmac2603 and her dog Olive take young readers on a tour of the real places in her 17c. novel The Somerset Tsunami 3/20
Read 20 tweets
15 Mar
Research from Oxford maps US demographics onto Italian fatality rates to estimate impact of covid-19.
Same research is showing some of the difference in fatalities is attributable to demographic differences. Image
Kaiser Family Foundation @KFF study combined demographic risk with existing condition risk to estimate the states with the highest percentage of adults at risk for serious illness from covid-19 Image
Read 4 tweets
13 Mar
flight attendant: is there a doctor on board?
mom: *nudge* could’ve been you
a sociologist: *sigh*
flight attendant: we desperately need social insights during a public health crisis
mom: what
Social solidarity, anyone? h/t @EricKlinenberg…
Read 4 tweets
15 Feb
The backgrounds of people in "Internet Services" look more like cultural leaders than business leaders. That's a sidebar fining from this cool new paper on the Ivy League educations of the US cultural elite by @BrintSteven @KomeeGee Kayleigh Anderson-Natale, @zfshuker & Suki Wang Image
@BrintSteven @KomeeGee @zfshuker tl;dr: US Cultural elites, compared to business elites or popular artists, are more likely to have graduated from elite undergraduate colleges.
Full paper is here:…
In Venture Labor I wrote about the close ties between NYC's Silicon Alley, NYC's cultural industries, and the Ivy League. (How many early startups came out of Brown?)
Read 6 tweets
5 Feb
So excited for this @datasociety Feminist Data Manifest-NO!: a way of reclaiming society and refusing data discipline, a feminist data ethics. By @wrongrrl @thebigfiveone @marika_louise and others Image
Data as an interpretation and as in need of interpretation.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jan
Debt of average student loan borrower in the US: $28,650
Debt of average student loan borrower in England: £50,000
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov 19
Our paper Messy Talk and Clean Technology is now available open access. Let me tell you about it.…
One of the big challenges of using tech to get people to collaborate is that these tools are often too efficient.
Meetings are messy. They thrive on the "oh, that reminds me" moment. For complex problems you different people with multiple kinds of insight. That takes time to make work.
Read 8 tweets
21 Oct 19
Lessons for academics from @Jason's "How to Say "No": Five Templates to Turn Down Opportunities Gracefully"
1. THANK people for their interest/ideas/connection
2. Know what YOUR OPPORTUNITIES look like
3. Know your "DON'T DOs"
1. Thank people for reaching out: A great way to acknowledge someone has an idea/opportunity for you. E.g., "Thank you for thinking of me for the editoral board of your <predatory> journal, but I must decline." Bonus points for early replies. 2/10
2. Know what opportunities look like for you. For ECRs the chance to speak on a keynote panel at a workshop can be great. I know more senior academics who refuse all the panels. Being clear with what is an opportunity looks like for you helps you to say no.... 3/10
Read 10 tweets
10 Sep 19
Finally: Research shows student evaluations of teaching are deeply problematic. Scholarly associations are encouraing schools to reconsider the practice.
Why? Because students systematically underrate women and people of color and overrate men and whites. Student evaluations of teaching are poorly designed measurements; ie they are wrong.
And yet, student evaluations are used as performance measures in an increasingly quantified higher education sector.
Read 4 tweets
31 Jul 19
Social scientists KNOW these answers:
"Why did Silicon Valley happen in California rather than Japan or Boston?" AnnaLee Saxenian @BerkeleyISchool & Woody Powell of @CASBSStanford @Stanford know this.
"Why did the Industrial Revolution start when it did?"
<Shakes her head> 1/4
To be fair, the rise of the industrial revolution gave rise to the entire disicpline of sociology to empirically measure the changes happening to people & society as the the economy changed. It was 'Progress Studies 1.0', if you will. 2/4
What is the effect of culture on the economy? Oh hi, Max Weber! How do economic changes destablize social order? Oh there you are @emiledurkheim! What caused the Industrial Revolution? <forgive me for not tagging Karl>. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
24 Jul 19
Our 2017 paper Critique and Contribute: A Practice-Based Framework for Improving Critical Data Studies and Data Science is now one of the most cited in Big Data. Open Access here:…
With Anissa Tanweer @BrittaFiore @lilaavati
We show how people working with data grapple with pragmatic ethical choices in their day-to-day work. We do this by looking at Data Science for Social Good teams, academic data science teams, and energy engineering teams.
We look at four common critiques of big data
data are inherently interpretive
data are inextricable from context
data are mediated through the tools that produce them
data become a chance to negotiate values.
Read 13 tweets
21 Jul 19
The last of the great generation: a country doctor who served generations and delivered over 6,000 babies, including me. Rest in peace, Doc. (A grateful thread)…
He truly put patient care first. He was also the first to distribute birth control to the women of my county, as a health issue.…
Here's his story in his own words of how he created an easy credit system for poor people with no health insurance before Medicare, delivering babies for a $60 fee, that's about $560 today. Still it was about 6 weeks of the average income then & there.…
Read 15 tweets