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Evidence-based Policy Analysis Seminar: Temporal Validity in Online Politics

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

This is the third of the Evidence-Based Policy Analysis seminar seriesGuest Speaker: Kevin Munger, Princeton University 

Moderator: Caitlin Brown, Assistant Professor, SPP 

The centrality of the internet to modern life means that the social and political world is changing faster and less predictably than ever before. At the same time, the "credibility revolution" has forced social scientists to confront the limits of our methods for creating knowledge. The interaction of these two trends is not yet well understood. I argue that the increasing rate of change of the objects of our study makes "knowledge decay" a potentially large source of error. "Temporal validity" is a form of external validity in which the target setting is in the future---which, of course, is always the case. "Temporal validity" may soon be an issue for many natural sciences as well, as  unpredictability due to anthropogenic climate change increases the rate of knowledge decay in fields like agriculture and medicine.

Kevin Munger is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, and will begin as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Penn State University in the fall of 2019.

He has taught several semesters of Introduction to Data Science, using both R and Python, as well a course on Text as Data. Course materials are located on his github, and are free for anyone to use, either for teaching or learning.

For further information on his publications please turn to his website

The Evidence-based Policy Analysis seminar series hosted by SPP brings together researchers across multiple departments at CEU interested in empirical issues related to public policy. Invited external speakers from both the academic and public sectors present research that uses rigorous evidence-based methodology to answer pertinent policy questions related to a range of topics, such as economic development, gender equality, demographic trends, and governance.

Next in the Series: Claire Brunel, American University “Climate change and internal migration in Brazil: The role of road infrastructure” Thursday, March 14, 2019. Nador 15, Quantum 101 4-5:15PM