Power of Population Data Science Webinar: Are you a Population Data Scientist?

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Event type: 
9:00am to 10:00am PST

All sessions will be delivered live and online via the Gotowebinar system.

Can’t attend the live session? This presentation will be recorded and posted on the PopData's YouTube channel and the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS) website for future reference. We recommend you register for the presentations of your choice so we can send you a link to the latest recorded sessions as they are available.


This seminar introduces and invites you to join the emerging field of population data science.

Watch webinar


Information is increasingly digital, creating opportunities to respond to pressing issues about human populations in near real time using linked datasets that are large, complex, and diverse. The potential social and individual benefits that can come from data-intensive science are large, but raise challenges of balancing individual privacy and the public good, building appropriate socio-technical systems to support data-intensive science, and determining whether defining a new field of inquiry might help move those collective interests and activities forward. A combination of expert engagement, literature review, and iterative conversations led to our conclusion that defining the field of Population Data Science (challenge 3) will help address the other two challenges as well.

We define Population Data Science succinctly as the science of data about people and note that it is related to but distinct from the fields of data science and informatics. A broader definition names four characteristics of: data use for positive impact on citizens and society; bringing together and analyzing data from multiple sources; finding population-level insights; and developing safe, privacy-sensitive and ethical infrastructure to support research.

One implication of these characteristics is that few people possess all of the requisite knowledge and skills of Population Data Science, so this is by nature a multi-disciplinary field. Other implications include the need to advance various aspects of science, such as data linkage technology, various forms of analytics, and methods of public engagement. These implications are the beginnings of a research agenda for Population Data Science, which if approached as a collective field, can catalyze significant advances in our understanding of trends in society, health, and human behavior. 


Dr. Kerina Jones is an Associate Professor of Health Informatics at Swansea University,  where she is the academic lead for Information Governance and Public Engagement to ensure data protection and maximise socially-acceptable data utility across the various Swansea University-based data intensive/linkage initiatives, including: the SAIL Databank, Administrative Data Research Centre Wales, Farr@CIPHER and the recently awarded HDRUK collaboration between Swansea University and Queen’s University Belfast.

Kerina leads the active Innovative Governance working group of the Farr Institute, which works collaboratively to advise and influence the developing data governance landscape to promote the safe reuse of data.  She leads an IG research programme including work to inform cross-centre research and how emerging data types, such as genetic data, can be used in conjunction with health record data. This includes a programme of public engagement and Kerina enjoys working with the public on the use of anonymised data for research.  

Dr. Kimberlyn McGrail is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Scientific Director of Population Data BC, and Data Director for the BC Academic Health Sciences Network.

Her research interests are quantitative policy evaluation, aging and the use and cost of health care services, learning health systems and all aspects of population data science. She conducts research in partnership with clinicians, policy-makers and the public. Kim is a founding member of the International Population Data Linkage Network and founding Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Population Data Science. She was the 2009-10 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Associate in Health Care Policy and Practice, a 2016 recipient of the Cortlandt JG Mackenzie Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and 2017 recipient of a UBC award for Excellence in Clinical or Applied Research.  

> back to main webinar page

Page last revised: October 3, 2018