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social network analysis
Policy networks, stakeholder interactions and climate adaptation in the region of South East Queensland, Australia
I just returned from a nice junket to beautiful (at least in the fall…) Maine where I gave talks at Bowdoin College and University of Maine. Both institutions were impressive for different reasons, and I met a lot of fun people. The Q&A periods of the talks highlighted three important and hard questions about network science that all of us should think about how to answer.
I had a chance to meet with staff of The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST) last week. The group was kicking off a new program in Honduras, modeled after their successful activities in Tanzania, India, Uganda and Kenya. In a nutshell, TIST works to increase environmental quality in subsistence farming communities by establishing payment schemes (through Greenhouse Gas Sales) to land owners who plant and maintain tree groves.
Vicken, Matt Hamilton, and I met this morning as part of an ad hoc R support group. We decided that we'd start a wiki (hosted on a UC Davis SmartSite called "SNA in R" ) to adapt Hanneman and Riddle's online book about using UCINET to learn R, share code, and create a product that will be of use to people beyond the three of us.
Question of the day: How do you present social network findings to an audience?
I think about this a lot and I encourage you to post positive examples or your own solutions in the "comments" section. Especially after attending a few social network conferences and producing my fair share of circle and line network diagrams. Most of the time, these do little more than demonstrate the researcher's ego (insert bad egonetwork joke here). This is the hallmark "look at all the data I collected!" slide for social network analysis. It is the prettier and more dizzing version of the size 8 font regression table that also appears in many a scientific talk. So, what's the solution? There are many out there, but I think a recent article in SEED magazine (http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/getting_past_the_pie_chart/) presents a good synopsis of the great visualization debate.