Big Data, Race, and Communication - Peter Chow-White (Simon Fraser)

| | 3401 Walnut St., Max Kade Center, Rm 329-A

Peter Chow-White 
Big Data, Race, and Communication: What are Challenges, Opportunities, and Risks for Genomics and Personalized Medicine?

Like any disruptive technology big data has its boosters and skeptics. If you listened to the media the past couple years, it seemed like big data can do anything. It can connect us, build smarter cities, tell us when to buy the cheapest plane tickets, track flu trends more efficiently than the CDC, run sports team better, improve businesses, and cure cancer. However, we experienced a bit of a hangover from the big data hype this last year. People became more skeptical and challenging towards big data. We started to hear about big data failures, like supermarket giant Tesco’s customer loyalty program. A study in the journal Science found major problems with Google Flu Trend, a favorite example among big data cheerleaders. In this talk, Professor Chow-White considers some opportunities and challenges for communication and big data along both ends of the booster/skeptic continuum. Specifically, Professor Chow-White will examine the development of big data and genomics for personalized medicine. While genomics opens new avenues for understanding and treating health the field has also deeply impacted debates about biology and race. 

Peter Chow-White is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is director of the GeNA Lab at SFU. Professor Chow-White's team investigates the development, adoption, and impact of communication and big data on organizations and society in genomics and health, race, social media, and professional sports. He is a member of a number of agencies in the Genome Sciences Centre research and clinical cluster in Vancouver, Canada. Professor Chow-White is an advisor to federal and provincial privacy commissioners. He also works with the Simon Fraser University men's basketball team applying moneyball analytics to their program. He is co-editor of Race After the Internet (Routledge) and published in communication, sociology, and biomedical journals. Currently, he is working on a book about big data.

**This event is co-sponosored with: Annenberg School of Communication; Department of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine; and Department of Sociology**