Book Launch

Book Talk | Bit by Bit

02/21 Wednesday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for a book talk on Matthew Salganik’s new book Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age, featuring the author in conversation with Duncan Watts and Beth Noveck.

In just the past several years, we have witnessed the birth and rapid spread of social media, mobile phones, and numerous other digital marvels. In addition to changing how we live, these tools enable us to collect and process data about human behavior on a scale never before imaginable, offering entirely new approaches to core questions about social behavior. Bit by Bit is the key to unlocking these powerful methods—a landmark book that will fundamentally change how the next generation of social scientists and data scientists explores the world around us.

Bit by Bit is the essential guide to mastering the key principles of doing social research in this fast-evolving digital age. In this comprehensive yet accessible book, Matthew Salganik explains how the digital revolution is transforming how social scientists observe behavior, ask questions, run experiments, and engage in mass collaborations. He provides a wealth of real-world examples throughout and also lays out a principles-based approach to handling ethical challenges.


Matthew J. Salganik is professor of sociology at Princeton University, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning. His research has been funded by Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, and has been featured on NPR and in such publications as the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Beth Noveck directs the Governance Lab at New York University and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. She is the Jerry M. Hultin Global Network Professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. From 2009 to 2011, she served in the White House as the nation’s first deputy chief technology officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative. Noveck is also the author of Smart Citizens, Smarter State: the Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing and Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful.

Duncan Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and an AD White Professor at Large at Cornell University. Prior to joining MSR in 2012, he was from 2000-2007 a professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and then a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directed the Human Social Dynamics group. His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals, from Nature to the Harvard Business Review, and he is also the author of three books: Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness, and Everything is Obvious: Once You Know The Answer.

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