John McLevey


[email protected]


John McLevey is a faculty member in the Department of Knowledge Integration at University of Waterloo, and is cross-appointed to Sociology & Legal Studies, the School of Environment, Resources, & Sustainability, and Geography & Environmental Management.  He primarily works in the areas of social network analysis and computational social science, with substantive interests in the science-policy interface, environmental governance, and social movements.  His work is currently funded by 8 research grants, including an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and 5 grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
As a computational social scientist, Dr. McLevey’s most general research goal is to advance our knowledge of how social networks and institutions affect the spread of information, knowledge, beliefs, biases, and behaviours. His work is also focused on better understanding the social and political consequences of those complex transmission processes.  He is currently leading or collaborating on a number of research projects in service of that larger goal, including on the effects of cognitive diversity in scientific teams, evidence-based policy making, and how educational innovations diffuse.  Each combines computational methods (specifically related to network analysis, natural language processing and text analysis, and record linkage) with social scientific theories and methods. You can find details about these projects on his research website.
In addition to writing articles, Dr. McLevey and his students develop research software. You can learn more about  metaknowledge and their other research software on the  NetLab  website.
Finally, Dr. McLevey co-runs (and loves to talk about) a program called Science Outside the Lab North. It’s an intensive course in Science Policy offered twice a year in Ottawa and Montreal.
A list of Dr. McLevey’s recent publications are available on his research website.

Select Publications

  • John McLevey. Doing Computational Social Science Under contract with Sage, UK Office. Research methods and data science series.
  • Mark Stoddart, Alice Mattoni, and John McLevey. Industrial Development and Eco-Tourisms: Is Co-existence Possible Between Oil Exploration and Nature Conservation? Under contract with Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Harry Collins with Robert Evans, Jonathon Goodall, Michael Gorman, Martin Innes, Will Mason-Wilkes, John McLevey and Alun Preece (authors after Collins are listed alphabetically). Face-to-Face: Why You Need to Talk to People to Understand the World (working title). Book manuscript under review.
  • Owen Gallupe, John McLevey, and Sarah Brown. 2018. “Selection or Influence? A Meta-Analysis of the Association between Peer and Personal Offending.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology. 1-23.
  • John McLevey, Alexander Graham, Reid McIlroy-Young, Pierson Browne, and Kathryn S. Plaisance. 2018. “Interdisciplinarity and Insularity in the Diffusion of Knowledge: An Analysis of Disciplinary Boundaries Between Philosophy of Science and the Sciences.” Scientometrics. 117(1):331-349.
  • John McLevey and Ryan Deschamps. 2018. “The Sociology of Public Policy Formation and Implementation.” William Outhwaite and Stephen Turner (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology. SAGE.
  • John McLevey, Allyson Stokes, and Amelia Howard. 2018. “Pierre Bourdieu’s Uneven Influence on Anglophone Canadian Sociology.” Thomas Medvetz and Jeff Sallaz (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Pierre Bourdieu. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • John McLevey and Reid McIlroy-Young. 2017. “Introducing metaknowledge: Software for Computational Research in Information Science, Network Analysis, and Science of Science.” The Journal of Informetrics. 11: 176-197.
  • Allyson Stokes and John McLevey (equal authors). 2016. “From Porter to Bourdieu: The Evolving Specialty Structure of English Canadian Sociology, 1966- 2014.” Canadian Review of Sociology / Revue canadienne de sociologie. 53(2):176–202.
  • John McLevey. 2015. “Understanding Policy Research in Liminal Spaces: Think Tank Responses to Diverging Principles of Legitimacy.” Social Studies of Science. 45(2):270-293.
  • John McLevey. 2014. “Think Tanks, Funding, and the Politics of Policy Knowledge in Canada.” Canadian Review of Sociology / Revue canadienne de sociologie. 51(1):54-75.

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