Publikationen WZB-Mitteilungen

Big Data in the social sciences

Luftverkehr über England and Wales. Source: https:/ view
Big Data has become an ubiquitous buzzword. Social networks, smartphones, and various online applications and websites constantly produce and provide information on an unprecedented scale and level of detail. Data storage is cheap and ever-improving analytical tools seem to herald a revolution in the way we understand the world. Some argue that this also fundamentally transforms science. Just crunching more data, it is assumed, allows us to take better decisions and solve social and political problems. So is the Big Data revolution the end of the social sciences as we know them? A comment by Alexandros Tokhi and Christian Rauh published in the December issue of the WZB-Mitteilungen. more
Publikationen New book

The WHO and two elephants

If you work for the World Health Organization (WHO), you must learn to “live with two elephants in a room.” That’s how a recently appointed WHO program director described the dilemma of this UN agency: one is the organization’s fragmentation into autonomous regional offices, the other its chronic lack of funding and dependence on outside donations. How could it come to this? And why did all past reform efforts serve to reinforce rather than remedy the organization’s pathologies? WZB researcher Tine Hanrieder has explored this “fragmentation trap” in her recently published book. more
Presse Essay

Why Google is a political matter

For the second time, WZB research professor John Keane met WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. They run through themes raised in Assange’s new book “When Google met WikiLeaks”, talking about Google’s political influence and why the search engine’s business model is a deeply political matter. Keane’s article about his conversation with Julian Assange was just published in the Australian magazine “The Monthly”. more