The 2014 BJS Prize was announced and presented at the BJS 2014 Annual Public Lecture on 6 November 2014. Bruno Latour commented on behalf of his co-authors (Pablo Jensen, Tommaso Venturini, Sebastian Grauwin and Dominique Bouille): We are very honoured by your award especially because this is the first technical paper in English coming out of the medialab we created five years ago to connect social theory and what is now called 'big data' but that should really be called 'smart data' The medialab had been conceived largely to understand what Gabriel Tarde had in mind when he claimed that he could quantify social connections with better tools than statistics (he was himself the head of criminal statistics at the Ministry of Justice and his data set had been used by Marcel Mauss to feed Durkheim's book on suicide, a book where the said Durkheim was more than happy to 'trash' Tarde's insights...) So, since 2004 I have assembled a multidisciplinary group with a biologist (it happens that bacteria are great for testing Tarde's theory!), cognitive scientists, media students and of course science studies scholars to see how we could 'operationalise' Tarde with the web data newly available. But it is only with the help of two physicists (PabloJensen and Sebastian Grauwin) and the medial lab researchers (Dominique Bouiller in media stdies and Tommaso Venturini in mapping controversies) that we have been able to see how the obscure notion of 'monads' could be made more amenable to empirical analysis. To be complete I should add the technical director of the medialab, Paul Girard, whose role was essential in helping us through the long process. There is of course a long way to go! Once again, we are very proud and thank you very much for such an honour. Tarde vindicated by the Britts a century later, that's really great!
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