Small Conversations for a Better World Podcast

Big Data w/ Dr. Maya Gislason

July 30, 2021 Gillian McCormick, Susannah Steers, Maya Gislason Season 4 Episode 3
Small Conversations for a Better World Podcast
Big Data w/ Dr. Maya Gislason
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Data is, by definition, the facts, statistics and information we gather for research and analysis. In our digital age, data is being produced, analyzed and used in volumes and ways that are difficult to imagine. Among other things, data is the stuff that health and public policies are made of;  the information that often decides where the money goes. We were curious to know where the data is coming from, who is looking at it, how it is being used, and what we're missing in the quest for equity and ethics in our society. 

Dr. Maya Gislason gave us all that and more! As Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, (home of the Big Data Hub),  Dr. Gislason's integrated approach to research, teaching and engagement,  organized around the common thread of critical enquiry related to social inequities in health, opened our eyes to the myriad ways that the data we produce, on an ever increasing scale, influences our lives and shapes the society we live in. 

Established in 2016, SFU's Big Data Hub enables the convergence of data-driven expertise linking computing science to gender studies, statistics to climate change modelling, criminal justice to mathematics, epidemiology to policy and more.

About Dr. Maya Gislason

Dr. Gislason joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in September 2014 as an Assistant Professor with a focus on health equity. Prior to this, she was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada with a focus on researching the intersections between public health and intensive resource extraction. Dr. Gislason holds a doctorate in Sociology (Medical Sociology) from the University of Sussex, UK, a Masters in Sociology and a double major in Sociology and Women’s Studies both from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. A longstanding champion of ecosystem approaches to health, Dr. Gislason works upstream on public health issues by addressing the interconnection between human, animal and ecosystem health alongside her colleagues and community partners, including the First Nations Health Authority. She teaches on and guides research teams in developing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) informed evidence generating tools, is a Sex and Gender Champion on tri-agency funded research, and is actively engaged in the dynamic space of intersectionality research and Gender-based Analysis Plus approaches to policy formation and evidence building. Dr. Gislason applies these tools and process to research on the impacts of climate change on diverse populations, addressing the environmental and community health impacts of intensive resource extraction on rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities in Canada, and ultimately to advance the shared goal of Planetary Health.

Maya Gislason

SFU Big Data Hub

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Intro to Dr. Maya Gislason
What is the SFU Big Data Hub?
Where is the data coming from?
When does data become "Big Data?"
What is data ethics?
Data ethics vs. data equity
Missing data sets
How is data the "New Oil?"
What is Health?