Cornell University's multi-disciplinary Institute for Social Sciences recently launched its newest project, "Getting Connected: Social Science in the Age of Networks." Here is a press release from last fall, when the NSF gave them $2M to get started.
The press release explains how the project is "ultimately intended to assist in the detailed statistical and observational study of social and information networks" and how it "will involve a team of computer scientists and social scientists developing the means -- dubbed "cybertools" -- to extract and analyze information from vast collections of data."
The project is led by Michael Macy of the Dept of Sociology, but I am especially excited because Jon Kleinberg is on the team. I think it's no exaggeration to credit Jon (a professor of Computer Science) as the world's leading expert at distilling fundamental principles from huge piles of network data.
I hope other initiatives (e.g., the Network Roundtable) that are gathering their own organizational network databanks will pay close attention to developments emerging from "Getting Connected." By bringing together the energy from these separate initiatives, we will go far in developing SNA from its roots in research and evaluation into a solid, forward-looking, and prescriptive organizational tool for business and community.
(Thanks to Ted Welser, a soon-to-be Cornell sociology postdoc, for telling me about "Getting Connected" at Sunbelt.)
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