Can big data tame a “naughty” world?

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dc.contributor.author Salmond, Jennifer en
dc.contributor.author Tadaki, M en
dc.contributor.author Dickson, Mark en
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-21T03:04:44Z en
dc.date.issued 2017 en
dc.identifier.citation The Canadian Geographer/Le Geographe Canadien 61(1):52-63 2017 en
dc.identifier.issn 0008-3658 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33677 en
dc.description.abstract The big data revolution is changing the way data is produced, analyzed, and valued. In the environmental sciences, big data has made it onto the agenda through calls to utilize the current data “deluge” more effectively and a desire for more complete measurement. However, a wider philosophical and ethical critique of big data is needed to assess its utility for environmental explanation. We distil three definitions relevant to the environmental sciences, focusing on the characteristics that make data “big,” the methods of analysis used, and the models of explanation favoured by big data analysts. We critically interrogate the new priorities implicit within big environmental data, and for a historical analogue we compare the big data moment in the environmental sciences to the period in the 1970s when systems theory was being invoked as a paradigmatic shift. Like systems theory, big data is poised to become the new lingua franca of many fields of scientific inquiry. Here we echo Barbara Kennedy's caution that whilst new methods of analysis seem fascinating and promissory, scientists must always be accountable to the “naughty” world in which we live, rather than the clean abstractions that we seek to generate. en
dc.publisher Blackwell Publishing Inc. en
dc.relation.ispartofseries The Canadian Geographer/Le Geographe Canadien en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Can big data tame a “naughty” world? en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/cag.12338 en
pubs.issue 1 en
pubs.begin-page 52 en
pubs.volume 61 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: Blackwell Publishing Inc. en
pubs.end-page 63 en
pubs.publication-status Published en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Review en
pubs.elements-id 612252 en
pubs.org-id Science en
pubs.org-id School of Environment en
dc.identifier.eissn 1541-0064 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-06-21 en
pubs.online-publication-date 2017-01-22 en


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