Hi. My name is Christopher Small. I am a data scientist and full stack software engineer with a background & interest in:
In 2018 I founded The Computational Democracy Project with the mission of using data science to make governance a better reflection of the public will. This organization maintains and assists with the utilization of Polis as a tool for scalable online deliberation.
We believe that many of the urgent challenges faced by the world today have been exacerbated by political institutions which have failed to adapt to – and moreover been exacerbated by – the rapidly evolving technological world we live in. Further, we believe that allowing the public to directly participate in deliberation as part of formal decision making processes affords them the opportunity to overcome our tribal differences and find common ground, a task which modern party politicians are typically disincentivized from performing. Representative democracies will not (and should not) be replaced overnight, but complementing them with more direct forms of participation can make our systems more responsive to the many challenges we face. Our goal as an organization is to scale these deliberative processes, so they can be more responsive and equitable.
Prior to starting The Computational Democracy Project, I spent several years working at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center with Erick Matsen, where I developed many of the skills I now apply towards developing deliberative technology.
Most of my work was focused on viral epidemiology and the interaction between the immune system and viral evolution/adaptation. During my time there I researched and co-authored several papers, both on the development of new methods and the application thereof towards biological questions. I also spent some time building open-source software for processing and analyzing this data, including CFT and Olmsted.
Living through the age of COVID19 after having spent years of my life thinking abstractly about the emergence of infectious disease has been more than a bit surreal.
I have a wife and son who keep me pretty busy when I'm not working. I love rock climbing, rockhounding, free diving, and mushroom hunting, and when I can find time, love to make music (piano, guitar, bass and beat-box), and dabble in the visual arts (painting, digital).
I occasionally still do consulting work to help organizations optimize their data architecture, and in turn what they can learn from their data. Please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thoughtnode.com (soon delphiclabs.com) if you'd like to inquire about my services.
You can typically find me on the internet using the name
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