Peter Bearman


My commitment: Harnessing the power of data to see and solve problems in new ways

Big data transforms how we see and solve problems on a scale equivalent to the introduction of the microscope 500 years ago.

For the first time in history, the scale and the diversity and the granularity of data that we have is actually beginning to be commensurate to the complexity of the social problems that confront us.

My work spans investigating the social determinants of the autism epidemic, working on understanding the dynamics of lynching in the Deep South, tracking violence in Northern Ireland, and identifying the neural signatures of social relations. We look at innovative ways to build data structures that can provide the foundation for robust, substantive, and empirically grounded insights to solve substantive problems.

Big data is a way of thinking about how we answer fundamental questions about all the problems that confront us, or ask them in a different way.

This is the promise of big data.


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