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Focusing on gender equality, Dr Siân Brooke (she/her) will demonstrate how computational methods can be rehabilitated into critical social science. She will first outline her Doctoral research (completed at the Oxford Internet Institute in 2020), which examined gender in programming communities and anonymous forums. This work combined ethnography with machine learning to form a rich interdisciplinary analysis of gendered barriers to entry in technical communities. Second, she will present her ongoing project with the Leverhulme Trust which examines gender in contributions to the Open Source community. Building on her theoretical research, Dr Brooke has contributed methodological work on how gender can be operationalised in computational approaches to intersectionality. This has since been put into practice in a radically interdisciplinary study of intersectional discrimination in freelancing in Online Labour Markets, supported by the British Academy and STICRED. The preliminary findings will be summarized at the talk, welcoming feedback from the audience.
Dr Brooke is a Fellow in Computational Social Science and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE) Department of Methodology. She is a Research Associate at the OII, affiliated with the Data Science Institute at LSE and the Data Science Lab at the Hertie School. She also holds awards from the ESRC, British Academy, CIVICA, and Alan Turing Institute. Her research focuses on gender and equity, focusing on socialising in programming and the role of humour in Internet communities.