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We invite participation in the ICWSM Workshop on Critical Data Science, held on 11 June 2019 in Munich, Germany at the Thirteenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-2019)

What is “critical data science”?

We define this as our vision of the practice of working with and modeling data (the “data science”), combined with identifying and questioning the core assumptions that drive that practice (the “critical”). It can be seen as the intersection (or perhaps the union) of data science and critical data/algorithm studies, and an example of a “critical technical practice” (see workshop proposal).

What is this workshop about?

We seek to bring together data scientists and scholars from computer science and the social sciences to engage one another around frameworks for responsibly carrying out data science on social phenomena. By combining cultures of critique with those of practice, we seek to create critical and sustainable ways of interdisciplinary collaboration. The workshop will involve short reflective presentations by participants, combined with a creative group-based activity to further support reflection of their own and neighboring scientific practices, and to create opportunities for further cooperation. 

Who is this workshop for?

Our main audience is data scientists attending ICWSM who are discontent about the state of data science practice, and suspect the problems are deep-seated and can only be addressed by a major change in how we see the world. We also welcome social scientists (e.g., those in sociology or STS), including those who may not be attending the main ICWSM conference, whose work involves working with data scientists. 

Who is organizing this workshop?

Four scholars working across computer science and social science. See the organizers page for biographies. 

What kind of submissions are accepted?

We are looking specifically for personal reflections and position pieces from data science practitioners or those who interact with or study practices of data science. Reflection and position-taking are integral parts of the scientific process and the development of disciplines, but there are often no venues for which researchers can get credit for doing them. This workshop seeks to be such a venue, where participants can present their own thoughts and experiences as well as work with others to deepen their own reflective practice. We accepted submissions of up to 4,000-word pieces with the option of publication, and are still accepting shorter pieces in order to participate and with optional inclusion on the workshop website. See the submissions page for details. 

Where will work be published?

Workshop attendees will have the option of having accepted archival submissions published in Workshop Proceedings of the 13th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, a special collection of the journal Frontiers in Big Data. 

How much does this cost?

While full ICWSM registration is expensive (registration fees are USD $724 for non-students and USD $384 for students), it is possible to register for only the workshop. The workshop cost is USD $75 for non-students and USD $50 for students. For those registering for the full conference, workshop registration is included. 

Frontiers in Big Data is Open Access and has costs for publishing, but for any submitting authors who do not already have institutional support to cover this, the fees are being waived. See publishing costs

What is ICWSM?

The International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, now in its 13th year and hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), is a computer science conference that has integrated social science and involved social scientists from the start. It is a venue that provides presentation opportunities for social scientists, and the work there is increasingly rigorous from both modeling perspectives and social science perspectives. As such, it is an excellent venue for modelers with critical views to find one another and organize. 

What happens to this website after the conference?

Content of this site will be archived, along with additional future material, at