Symposium/CfP - Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science, 15 - 17 November 2017, UK

Publish Date: Sep 05, 2017

Deadline: Sep 30, 2017

European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges

in Computational Social Science

This is the first in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. In the first year, the focus will be on “Inequality and Imbalance” (London, 2017). Future events will be focused on “Bias and Discrimination” (Cologne, 2018) and “Polarization and Radicalization” (Zurich, 2019).

With these three events we provide a platform to address one of the most pressing challenges in today’s digital society: understanding the role that digital technologies, the Web, and the algorithms used therein play in the mediation and creation of inequalities, discrimination and polarization.

By addressing inequality as the topical issue for the symposium series we intend to explore how CSS can contribute to opening up new ways of thinking about, of measuring, detecting and coping with social inequality, discrimination, and polarization. We will discuss how divides and inequalities are proliferated in digital society, how social cleavages can be observed via web data, how the organizational structure of the web itself generates biases and inequality, and how, in contrast, algorithms and computational tools might help to reduce discrimination and inequality. We will also investigate how bias and unequal social structures foster political tension and polarization, including issues of radicalization and hate.


The Symposium 2017 will be a three-day event consisting of:

  • a two-days, single-track conference featuring a series of invited talks that will provide different perspectives on challenges in the area of Inequality and Imbalance
  • a day of multiple satellite events, including workshop and tutorials
  • an open call for contributed presentations that will provide opportunities for computational social scientists to present and discuss their own work
  • an open call for workshop and tutorial organization that will provide opportunities for computational social scientists to gather focus groups around the latest trends in Computational Social Science
  • plenty of possibilities for interdisciplinary networking
  • an evening “science slam” with a selection of short scientific talk where scientists present their own research in front of a non-expert audience

Call for Papers

We welcome submissions in the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences, including (a) new approaches for understanding social phenomena and addressing societal challenges, (b) improving methods for computational social science, (c) and understanding the influence of the Web and digital technologies on society.

For the 1st Symposium we are especially interested in:

  • Methods for inequality measurement, including measuring inequality on the Web
  • Mediating inequalities via computational methods
  • Inequality data mining
  • Detecting trends of inequality
  • Digital reproduction of inequality
  • Online vs. offline inequalities
  • Cross-country and longitudinal studies of inequality
  • Missing data
  • Digital civil society and digital citizenship
  • Digital divides and digital inequality
  • Global inequality and effects of globalization
  • Power imbalances
  • Demographics and age structures
  • Underrepresented groups
  • Wealth and poverty research
  • Economic inequality
  • Health inequalities
  • Models of social capital in the digital age
  • Non-users of digital technologies
  • Accessibility of and barriers to digital technologies
  • Skills and digital literacy

Other related topics are explicitly welcome.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be 1-2 page abstracts (up to approx. 1000 words) summarizing the work to be presented. We encourage researchers to also submit mature work that has already been published and/or submit work-in-progress. Please give a sufficiently detailed description of your work and your methods so we can adequately assess its relevance. Each extended abstract will be reviewed by a Program Committee composed of experts in computational social science. Accepted submissions will be non-archival, i.e. there are no proceedings. We may however discuss options for publishing selected submissions after the conference (e.g. as a journal special issue or edited collection).

Submissions will mostly be evaluated based on relevance and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions.

The deadline for submission is September 30th, 2017. Notice of acceptance will be October 13th, 2017.

Call for Workshops and Tutorials

The organizing committee of the First Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science welcomes submissions for workshops and tutorials proposals on any emerging topic at the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences. The workshop and tutorial day will be held at the Alan Turing Institute in London, UK on November 15th, 2017.

Workshops will give the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with a selected focus, providing an excellent forum for exploring emerging approaches and task areas and bridging the gaps between the social science and technology fields.

Tutorials will be an opportunity for cross-disciplinary engagement and a deeper understanding of new tools, techniques, and research methodologies. Tutorials should provide either an in-depth look at an emerging technique or software package or a broad summary of an important direction in the field.

Members of all segments of the social media research community are encouraged to submit proposals. To foster interaction and exchange of ideas, the workshops will be kept small, with 30 participants maximum. Attendance is limited to active participants only.

Important Dates

Workshops and tutorials proposal submission deadline: September 8th, 2017

Workshops and tutorials acceptance notification: September 12th, 2017

Workshops and tutorials day: November 15th, 2017

Submission Guidelines

Authors are kindly requested to submit a PDF file via email to

Proposals for workshops and tutorials should be no more than three (3) pages in length (10pt, single column, with reasonable margins), written in English, and should contain the following:

  • A concise title
  • The names, affiliations, and contact information of the organizing committee
  • Duration of the event (half-day or full-day meeting)
  • A short abstract describing the scope and main objective of the event
  • A short description of the main topic and themes (2 paragraphs maximum)
  • A description of the proposed event format and a detailed list of proposed activities
  • An approximate timeline of the activities
  • Historical information about the event, when available
  • [Workshops only] A description of how workshop submissions will be evaluated (invited contributions, peer review, etc.)

Workshops and tutorials will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Timeliness of the topic
  • Potential to attract the interest of researchers in computer science and social/organizational sciences
  • Promotion of activities that are different from the classic mini-conference format; those include challenges, games, interactive sessions, brainstorming and networking.
  • Involvement people of different backgrounds in the organizing committee
  • Addressing topics at the intersection of different disciplines


The Symposium will take place in London, UK. The workshop day will be held at the Alan Turing Institute and the main conference will be hosted by the British Library.

We aim to keep registration costs as low as possible (approx. around 50 GPB for a three-days pass). More information will be made available soon.

Paper/poster submission is not a requirement for attendance.

Travel Grants

Due to the generous funding by Volkswagen Foundation we are able to offer up to 40 travel grants to early career researchers whose talks are accepted for the symposium. Both plenary talk presenters and workshop/ tutorial presenters are eligible for the travel grants.

The travel grant consists of 500 EUR for authors from non-European countries or 250 EUR for authors from Europe and also covers the registration fee for the symposium. Travel grant recipients will be selected by a committee of experts based on their academic excellence, financial needs and diversity (e.g. gender, geographical and disciplinary diversity).

Please indicate in your submission 1) if you wish to apply for a travel grant, 2) your motivation for the grant application and 3) whether you will still attend the symposium without a travel grant.

The grants aim to especially support attendees with limited travel resources and attendees from countries where Computational Social Science is not yet well established.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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