Associate Professor

John McLevey

John McLevey did his Master’s and PhD at McMaster University and his Bachelor’s in Sociology and Political Science at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. He primarily works in the areas of social network analysis and computational social science, with substantive interests in the science-policy interface and evidence-informed policymaking, environmental governance, and social movements. His research is funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

As a computational social scientist, John’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 (1) the effects of cognitive diversity in scientific teams, (2) processes of evidence-informed policymaking, (3) network effects on participation in environmental activism, (4) environmental governance and development in the North Atlantic, and (5) the diffusion of educational innovations. Each of these projects combine computational methods (specifically related to network analysis, natural language processing and text analysis, and record linkage) with social scientific theories and methods (including interviews, surveys, and observation). You can find details about these projects on his research website.

John is currently writing a computational social science book for Sage UK (Doing Computational Social Science: A Practical Introduction), and is co-authoring a book on environmental governance in the North Atlantic with Mark Stoddart (Memorial University) and Alice Mattoni (University of Bologna) for Palgrave McMillan.

In addition to writing articles and books, Dr. McLevey and his students develop research software. You can learn more about  their Python packages (e.g. metaknowledge; principled data processing, Python; nate) on the webpage for John’s research lab, NETLAB.

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.

In the Department of Knowledge Integration, John primarily teaches “The Art & Science of Learning” (INTEG 120), “Research Design and Methods” (INTEG 340), “Computational Social Science” (INTEG 440/640), and “Senior Research Project” (INTEG 420).

Outside the office, John is passionate about photography, hiking, podcasts, coffee, cats, and craft cocktails.

Visit John McLevey's KI web page.

University of Waterloo