Research Scholar – computational analysis of social media data at IIASA, Austria
- on March 22, 2023
The IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) Program looks to recruit a strong candidate for its Sustainable Systems Service (S3) Research Group, to support with advancing the understanding of global changes in low-carbon behaviors and public opinion on climate policies.
The ECE Program at IIASA is one of the world’s leading global Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM) teams, and seeks to deepen the understanding of rapid, just, and feasible systems transformations toward environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Continuing a long tradition going back to the foundations of IIASA, ECE’s modeling tools stand at the heart of IIASA integrated assessment capabilities, used to explore linked solutions for energy, food, land, and water. Interdisciplinary teams within ECE use these and complementary methods to study trade-offs and synergies between multiple policy priorities and objectives, typically across multiple sectors. ECE’s scientific outputs inform international and national policy efforts related to climate change (e.g. implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement) and sustainable development (e.g., pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals).
Demand reduction through behavioral changes is considered an important mitigation option, and the crucial role of social systems in rapid decarbonization is increasingly acknowledged. Complementing available empirical sources with global social media data to explicitly capture bottom-up behavioral and opinion change will enable assessing the feasibility of widespread behavioral changes and social tipping mechanisms.
The selected candidate will contribute to developing new global datasets and subsequent analyses to study the social dynamics and heterogeneity of low-carbon behavior changes. They will join and (co-)lead existing research efforts, while helping identify, plan, and create new opportunities and research directions. This work will include, but is not limited to:
- Data collection from the main social media platforms and data validation for confidence building with respect to existing (global) datasets
- Data analysis using various machine learning techniques on the numerical and categorical audience size data and textual content data
- Contributing to the development of harmonized datasets and an online dashboard that visualizes the data analysis results
Additionally, there will be opportunities to collaborate with several IIASA researchers on projects that require data science expertise for development and analysis of climate scenarios.