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Title: Social Networks for Good
Originating Office: IAS
DBM
DHSS
DSCI
Speaker: Christakis, Nicholas A.
Issue Date: 21-Sep-2016
Event Date: 21-Sep-2016
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 EF
Notes: IAS distinguished lecture.
Title from opening screen.
Co-sponsored by School of Business and Management, School of Humanities and Social Science & School of Science, HKUST.
Abstract: Human beings choose their friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and we inherit our relatives; and each of the people to whom we are connected also does the same, such that, in the end, we humans assemble ourselves into vast, face-to-face networks. Why do we do this? And how might an understanding of human social network structure and function be used to intervene in the world to make it better? In this lecture, the speaker reviews recent research describing two classes of interventions involving both offline and online networks that can help make the world better: (1) interventions that rewire the connections between people, and (2) interventions that manipulate social contagion, facilitating the flow of desirable properties within groups. He illustrates what can be done using a variety of experiments in settings as diverse as fostering cooperation in networked groups online, to fostering health behavior change in developing world villages, to facilitating the diffusion of innovation or coordination in groups. By taking account of people's structural embeddedness in social networks, and by understanding social influence, it is possible to intervene in social systems to enhance population-level properties as diverse as health, wealth, cooperation, creativity, civic engagement, and immunity.
Prof Nicholas Christakis received his PhD in Sociology from University of Pennsylvania in 1995, which he was also the National Research Service Award Fellow there. He then joined the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Medicine and eventually became a full Professor in 2001. In the same year, he moved to Harvard University. He was appointed as a Professor of Medical Sociology, Professor of Sociology and Professor of Medicine during the days in Harvard. In 2013, he joined the Yale University and is currently the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science.
Prof Christakis’ current research is mainly focused on two topics: (1) the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form (“connection”), and (2) the social and biological implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (“contagion”). His lab uses both observational and experimental methods to study these phenomena, exploiting techniques from sociology, computer science, biosocial science, demography, statistics, behavior genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, and other fields.
Prof Christakis is the author of several books and over 150 articles. He was also elected to the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010.
Duration: 92 min.
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
6.5.1:3 - Audio-visual Materials
6.2.1:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures