The project seeks to advance a deeply powerful understanding of where data comes from and how it is used, setting the present moment within a century-long history of information supply and its power-laden consequences. At a moment when societies are in urgent need of guidance to navigate rapidly shifting digital terrain, we are coming together to build a deep understanding of the social and political life of data.
The Year of Data and Society in 2021-2022 provides the University of Pittsburgh an opportunity to think critically about the data we collect, use, and leave behind as traces, through our scholarly work, education, institutional operations, and digital lives. We are exploring the societal implications of data and its uses, recognizing that data can both empower and marginalize individuals and communities. This year-long conversation and supported activities will focus on what MIT professor Sarah Williams calls "data action," or responsible and ethical data practices that benefit the public good, and this podcast serves as one of its outputs.