Diversity and gender equity in networks of knowledge production and dissemination
Dissertation Defense
Past Talk
Syed Arefinul Haque
Network Science PhD Candidate
Jul 14, 2022
Watch video
Time TBA
12:00 pm
177 Huntington Ave
11th floor
Join Talk (Zoom)Register hereRegister for Workshop

In knowledge production and dissemination processes, participation from diverse populations matters; without inclusion of voices across all spectrums of society, produced knowledge remains incomplete. In this dissertation, I present three projects related to the identification of inequity in the production of knowledge and its dissemination. In the first project, I look at the diversity of network science scholars. With the help of volunteers at the Network Science Institute, I identified the race and gender of highly cited authors of the most highly cited papers in the discipline based on a dataset collated from Microsoft Academic Graph. This list is augmented with invited speakers at NetSci, the most prominent conference in network science. We find that both women and non-white researchers continue to be underrepresented in both publication and citation rates. In the second project, I created a list of 4,469 experts mentioned in news articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic and hand-coded the expertise, gender, and race of these individuals with the help of volunteers from the COVID-19 Dispersed Volunteer Research Network. By creating a co-mention network between these experts, I explore the gender and racial imbalance in quoted experts, and the intensity of interaction we see between public health experts and policymakers during a crisis. Finally, in the third project, I construct a network between US institutions of higher education who received NSF ADVANCE grants, awarded to help implement institutional level intervention to reduce gender inequity in STEM fields. Using a mixed effect model, I examine the effect of organizational characteristics and network position on the diffusion of innovative change strategies.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Laura K. Nelson, Chair Assistant Professor of Sociology University of British Columbia
  • David Lazer, University Distinguished Professor Network Science Institute Northeastern University
  • Kathrin S. Zippel, Professor of Sociology Northeastern University
  • Maimuna S. Majumder, Faculty of the Computational Health Informatics Program Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
About the speaker
About the speaker

Syed Arefinul Haque is a sixth year PhD student at Northeastern University’s Network Science PhD program working with Prof. Laura Nelson. Currently he is using Network Science and NLP techniques to quantify gender and racial diversity in researchers and experts, and how ideas related to gender diversity move between one organization to another. He is also part of COVID-19 related research efforts through COVID-19 Dispersed Volunteer Research Network. In the near past he has worked on epidemiology projects such as creating contact matrices to model the transmission of influenza and similar infectious diseases. He is from Bangladesh where he completed BBA in finance from IBA, University of Dhaka, and MSc in Computer Science from United International University.