In her response to “Can Social Science Matter?,” danah boyd encourages deeper reflection among social scientists in order to address heightened expectations for the accountability of research. She argues that accountability is not simply about the quality or impact of answers to research questions, but is instead inherently tied to the choice of questions that social scientists seek to address. Asking the right questions, boyd contends, “requires being deeply embedded within the social world that we seek to understand.”
danah boyd is the founder and president of Data & Society, a research institute focused on understanding the role of data-driven technologies in society. She is also a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a visiting professor at ITP at New York University. Her research is focused on addressing social and cultural inequities by understanding the relationship between technology and society. Her most recent books—It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens and Participatory Culture in a Networked Age coauthored with Henry Jenkins and Mizuko Ito—examine the intersection of everyday practices and social media. Dr. boyd was selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and is currently an active member. She is a director of the Crisis Text Line and on the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian. She received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brown University, a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a PhD in information from the University of California, Berkeley.