Abstract: Smart platforms constitute an entirely new field of methods that are still in the emergent stage, requiring critical engagement and also the real potential to develop a new methodological toolkit for social and health inquiry. Smart platforms are comprised of bespoke tools that facilitate user-driven learning by building expertise into the platform to create an intuitive, supportive, and open-ended environment for complex social and health inquiry. Unlike statistical platforms, AM-Smart platforms focus on a single technique or small network of interrelated (mostly computational) methods, which help users engage new methods. Smart platforms provide method-specific operational scaffolding, rapid and formative feedback, and which requires modest technical skill while being rigorous and reliable. This session will introduce this newly emerging field by exploring the AM-Smart platform, COMPLEX-IT.
Bio: Brian is Director of the Research Methods Centre and Director of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Durham University, UK. He is also editor of the Routledge Complexity in Social Science series, CO-I for the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus, and a Fellow of the UK National Academy of Social Sciences. Brian also runs InSPIRE, a UK policy and research consortium for mitigating the impact places have on air quality, dementia and brain health across the life course. Brian and his colleagues have spent the past ten years developing a new case-based, data mining approach to modelling complex social systems and social complexity, called COMPLEX-IT, which they have used to help researchers, policy evaluators, and public sector organisations address a variety of complex public health issues.