John McLevey


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John McLevey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo, with cross-appointments to Sociology & Legal Studies and Geography & Environmental Management.

John’s current SSHRC-funded research projects straddle several related areas, primarily: (1) the micro- and macro-level processes through which opinions, beliefs, identities, worldviews, and lifestyle preferences form and evolve over the life course; (2) public opinion dynamics, lifestyle preferences and politics, and large-scale cultural change; and (3) the workings and impacts of coordinated information operations such as disinformation campaigns and censorship on populations. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) for several collaborative projects in these areas, with colleagues from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Germany, and France. Much of this work focuses on opinions concerning collective risks (e.g., climate change, pandemics), science and expertise, surveillance and privacy, and lifestyle preferences and politics.

John’s work in each of these three areas is informed by theory and research at the intersections of the social sciences (especially cultural and political sociology), cognitive science, and affective neuroscience, and by methods and models at the intersections of the social, computational, mathematical, and statistical sciences. Within computational social science and data science, John’s methodological expertise is mainly in (1) network science and social network analysis, (2) probabilistic and generative modelling (mainly empirically calibrated agent-based simulation models and Bayesian latent variable models), (3) computational text analysis, and (4) reproducibility.

Among other things, John is the author or co-author of 3 books, Doing Computational Social Science (Sage, UK, 2022), Industrial Development and Eco-Tourisms: Is Co-Existence Possible Between Oil Exploration and Nature Conservation (with Mark Stoddart and Alice Mattoni, Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), and The Face-to-Face Principle and the Internet: Science, Trust, Truth, and Democracy (with Harry Collins, Rob Evans, Martin Innes, Will Mason-Wilkes, and Eric Kennedy, Cardiff University Press, 2022). He is also co-editing the second volume of the Sage Handbook for Social Network Analysis with Peter Carrington and John Scott. He recently co-edited journal special issues on the themes of social networks and climate change (Social Networks) and natural resource governance and energy futures (Society & Natural Resources). You can learn more about John’s research, and view a (mostly) up to date record of his publications, by visiting his personal website or the website for his research lab, Netlab.

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