Journal article Open Access
Computational models and huge amounts of available data allow us to predict the outbreak of COVID-19 globally and prepare respective measures to react to this crisis. Policy-makers, journalists and individuals refer to such calculations on a daily basis and they are prominently present in the public discourse. What is often left out of the debate are uncertainties, limitations and effects that communication about these predictions brings about for the society.
Elephant in the lab asked the associate professor and managing director of the Groningen Center of Social Complexity Studies Wander Jager to explain risks and unintended effects of computational modelling in times of crises. He has been studying social dynamics in networks for more than 20 years and is currently part of an international university consortium preparing the online course “Action for computational thinking in social sciences''.