The technological revolution is transforming every aspect of human lives. As our physical and digital worlds coalesce with each other, the way we corroborate information and construct knowledge has evolved over time. While social media offer free platforms to create and share information, its openness has also changed the possibilities to shape and influence debates in the online space.
While more attention is paid to the importance of public engagement with science, it is essential to explore how public engagement works in online space. This is particularly the case for complex topics like forest governance where various issues and interests emerge at different levels of our social, economic and natural systems.
In collaboration with the Public Data Lab, Out of the Flames makes the very first attempt to reveal “what’s behind the web” in the context of forest governance under NewGo!, a start-up project for the EFI’s Governance programme. Driven by a case study on the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires, one of the most covered forest-related news items in the recent past, the project will reconstruct how the event has unfolded through a series of analyses using online data from digital platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Youtube. The project will identify trends, patterns and “publics” to understand how forest governance is addressed and engaged in the digital world.
Out of the Flames will focus on three distinct areas for analysis, namely:
Based on the analysis results, the project will facilitate evidence-based dialogue with and among researchers, journalists, policy-makers and other associated experts for further reflection and insights sharing.
As the project deliverables, it will offer:
Out of the Flames is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).
The Public Data Lab is an interdisciplinary network of leading researchers specialised in digital humanities, network science and design studies. It seeks to facilitate research, democratic engagement and public debate around the future of the data society. For more, visit this page.