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Social dimensions of evidence-based policy in a digital society

Hantrais, Linda and Lenihan, Ashley Thomas ORCID: 0000-0002-8845-5362 (2021) Social dimensions of evidence-based policy in a digital society. Contemporary Social Science, 16 (2). 141 - 155. ISSN 2158-2041

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Identification Number: 10.1080/21582041.2021.1887508


A plethora of evidence demonstrates the effects of the digitisation of society on everyday life. Developments in web science (the world wide web), online technologies (internet of things, social media, e-governance), artificial intelligence and robotics present major challenges for contemporary societies. These technological advances create risks (loss of autonomy, cybercrime, online abuse, threats to children’s safety and national security) and opportunities (climate change mitigation, responses to global health scourges, medical therapies, intergenerational connectivity, smart cities). This article focusses on the contribution of the social sciences to the digital revolution, whether it be in the public or private sectors, civil society or households. The authors explore how technological innovations can result from international cooperation between researchers in different disciplines. They consider how evidence from the social sciences is used to measure the societal impacts of technological change in different cultural, economic and political contexts. They review the ethical issues raised by the datafication of society and autonomous learning machines, while assessing the contribution of social sciences to the policymaking process in the digital age.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Academy of Social Sciences.
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 10:06
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 05:21

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