In recent years a dramatic shift has occurred in the collection and analysis of intelligence by government spying agencies. In addition to normal clandestine methods (cloaks and daggers and whatnot), governments around the world have come to recognise the value of ‘open source intelligence’: finding, selecting and acquiring information from publicly available sources to produce actionable intelligence.
What’s useful and cheap for governments can be useful – and attainable – for people interested in the big issues in society.
We are in the process building a system – using both established and novel open source intelligence methods – to gauge, assess and display changes in the online discussion of science and technology issues, controversies and dangerous alternate conceptions. Our goal is to develop a science communication ‘atlas of now’: revealing geographical and temporal changes in attitudes to science and technology issues throughout society. Continue reading