Social Science One making available data that “may rival the total amount that currently exists in the social sciences”

July 12, 2018

Social Science One, incubated at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), will allow and support the use of enormous stores of anonymized Facebook data for independent, peer-reviewed social science research. Funding from seven politically diverse nonprofit organizations—the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Democracy Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Charles Koch Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation—are funding Social Science One. IQSS director Gary King says: “As social scientists, our goal is to understand and solve the greatest challenges that affect human society. But the problem is that even though we have more data than ever before, we have a smaller fraction of the data that the world is creating. Most of the data that would be useful for social science is now locked up inside private companies. Social Science One is an important mechanism for unlocking that data for social scientists.”