The Hack for California Research Cluster provides a space for civically-minded data scientists, social scientists, and humanists to collaborate in critically examining how open government data can be configured towards understanding social and environmental inequities. We convene weekly to identify pressing issues throughout the state of California and examine the availability and quality of open government data resources for evaluating their impact on communities. We interview and co-design with relevant stakeholders to produce maps, dashboards, and/or other tools that help to translate the nature of the problems, legitimate their stakes and urgency, while constantly assessing the risks such data aggregations pose to those represented by the numbers. In the process, we consider issues that are not addressed through open government data, the socio-political forces that have shaped these knowledge gaps, and their potential impacts. Finally, we consider the discursive risks of making data publicly available and how we might subvert them with critical data design. 

This UC Davis Research Cluster is organized by Professor Lindsay Poirier in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Participation is open to graduates, undergraduates, faculty, post-docs, and staff at UC Davis seeking to engage in research and advocacy around civic issues facing California and learn about open government data. The success of this program is dependent on convening a diverse array of skills, including: legislative research, project management, interviewing, writing, user interface design, data analysis and visualization, and coding. 

Let us know that you are interested in participating by emailing Prof. Lindsay Poirier.