Category archives: Sociology

Robots can be companions, caregivers, collaborators — and social influencers

Robots can be companions, caregivers, collaborators — and social influencers

RoboticsSociology

By Invited Researcher

In the mid-1990s, there was research going on at Stanford University that would change the way we think about computers. The Media Equation experiments were simple: participants were asked to interact with a computer that acted socially for a few minutes after which, they were asked to give feedback about the interaction. Participants would provide […]

Child slavery in West Africa: understanding cocoa farming is key to ending the practice

Child slavery in West Africa: understanding cocoa farming is key to ending the practice

EconomicsSociology

By Invited Researcher

In 2000 and 2001, the use of child slaves on cocoa farms in West Africa was exposed in a series of documentaries and pieces of investigative journalism, sparking an international outcry . This series of events was far from unprecedented. As discussed in my paper, since the 19th century, when cocoa was first introduced to […]

Digital activism for social transformation

Digital activism for social transformation

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Martha R. Villabona works at Subdirección General de Cooperación Territorial e Innovación Educativa of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, where she coordinates the area of multiple literacies. Communication trough networks has changed how relationships between governments, citizens, politicians and other social actors develop. This form of communication, interconnection and interaction is […]

Online harassment toward women

Online harassment toward women

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Martha R. Villabona works at Subdirección General de Cooperación Territorial e Innovación Educativa of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, where she coordinates the area of multiple literacies. The seemingly unlimited possibilities of citizen participation in social networks are affected by the polarization of debate, the aggressive style of communication and the […]

Fake news: the third-person effect

Fake news: the third-person effect

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

The third person effect phenomenon was described by Davidson in 1983 . People tend to think that media influence other people more than themselves. This self reinforcement is a key mechanism to understand the different effects caused by the media on their audience, since people are motivated to maintain a positive image of themselves by […]

How can we improve the communication between mathematics and life sciences?

How can we improve the communication between mathematics and life sciences?

BiologyMathematicsSociology

By Pablo Rodríguez Sánchez

Preamble In the period 2015-2019, I was hired as a mathematician by a biology department in order to perform a research that eventually would become my doctoral thesis. This text is adapted from the last chapter of that thesis, “Cycles and interactions: A mathematician among biologists” (full text available here). The symbiosis between mathematics and […]