Science and Methodology Committee

The mandate of the Science and Methodology Committee is to evaluate the status of the global information environment, assess risks and understand the impacts of threats, and investigate the effectiveness of response strategies. The Committee achieves this by organizing, evaluating, and elevating research at a global scale, which includes generating state-of-the-art reports, commissioning original studies and meta-analyses, collaborating with experts to develop and refine scientific methodologies, and ensuring the veracity of the evidence collected and used.

This work involves evaluating threats, primarily concerning algorithmic bias, manipulation, and misinformation, and recommending options for reducing any concerning consequences of innovation in information systems. The Committee achieves this by chartering additional, domain-specific Science Panels made up of relevant experts who can respond to focused questions in a timely way. Furthermore, the Committee aims to provide scientific, longitudinal, multi-lingual, cross-cultural, and international analyses.  

One of the key tools of the Science and Methodology Committee is its state-of-the-art reports and meta-analyses about the state of the global information environment. There are three main classes of outputs managed by the Committee:

  1. IPIE Reports (including Assessments, Synthesis and Special Reports and their Summaries for Policymakers and Methodology Reports)
  1. Technical Papers
  1. Supporting Material

The different classes of material are subject to appropriate levels of peer review and endorsement.  

The research and policy analysis of the Science and Methodology Committee and specifically chartered Panels will involve monitoring trends in the Information Environment including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, algorithmic systems and other aspects of information technology innovation and the digital society establishing ethical standards, identifying key emerging issues, and providing innovative new understanding of the causes, impact and solutions to threats in the global information environment that are impeding human progress.  It will extend to technical assistance, by conducting policy reviews, programme evaluations, and offering technical advice to strengthen the capacity of societies to manage the complexities of the global information environment. It will strive for consensus building by exchanging and sharing best practices and experience among governments, technology firms, and civil society groups with a view to fostering a healthy information environment around the world.

By providing decision-makers with new knowledge and expressions of scientific consensus, the Committee can support the development of evidence-based policies that are effective in addressing threats to the global information environment.

The Science and Methodology Committee also communicates its assessments to key stakeholders, including policymakers, scientists, the media, and the interested public. While the IPIE does not conduct direct lobbying, work with political campaigns, or operate on electoral or partisan themes, the Committee is charged with disseminating findings broadly, and having our outputs understood and acted upon. To achieve this, the Committee engages in a range of outreach activities, including public lectures, media appearances, and engagement with civil society organizations.

Ultimately, the Science and Methodology Committee supports policymakers in developing effective strategies to address the growing threat of algorithmic bias, manipulation, and misinformation. This involves working closely with governments, civil society organizations, and industry representatives to identify best practices and develop policies that are effective in reducing any negative consequences to innovation in information technologies.  

The Science and Methodology Committee plays a critical role in the work of the IPIE by analyzing the status of the global information environment, assessing the impacts of threats to it, and evaluating strategies for addressing algorithmic harms. In doing so, the Committee can make a significant contribution to promoting the flow of accurate and reliable information around the world.

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