In Defense of Forensic Social Science

In Defense of Forensic Social Science

Big Data & Society. December
2015, Vol. 2, Issue 2

Like the navigation tools that freed ancient sailors from the need to stay close to the shoreline—eventually affording the discovery of new worlds—Big Data might open us up to new sociological possibilities by freeing us from the shackles of hypothesis testing. But for that to happen we need forensic social science: the careful compilation of evidence from unstructured digital traces as a means to generate new theories.