This essay examines the “era of big data” through the lens of recent attempts at its application within the realm of public health. Arguing that debates about big data’s newness or usefulness are misplaced, I suggest that big data is less about finding solutions to complex social problems than it is about discovering better — and more relevant — research questions.
Data, Data Everywhere
Theresa MacPhail is assistant professor of science and technology studies (STS) at Stevens Institute of Technology, where she teaches courses in STS, public health, and medical anthropology. She is the author of The Viral Network: A Pathography of the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic (2014).
Theresa MacPhail; Data, Data Everywhere. Public Culture 1 May 2015; 27 (2 (76)): 213–219. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-2841820
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