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DSSG is a group of data science researchers affiliated to the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). The mission of the group is to investigate and develop methods and technology – in particular based on data science – to support initiatives that aim at social good. Recent economic and technological developments have shown the potential of using data-intensive methods for powerful digital services and platforms. These technologies have been welcomed by private equity as an effective means to increase shareholder value. However, in many cases focused attention on increased shareholder value leads to increased social inequality and decreased solidarity/trust, forming a real threat to our democratic society.

We believe that data science methods can contribute to social good, that is to public value for citizens and citizen organisations. Data science, machine learning and digital methods have the potential to help e.g. citizen initiatives, or locally operating social impact driven companies that are motivated to contribute to the large societal transitions we are facing.

The group is working on this mission through the following activities:

  • Initiating and participating in research projects. Often these projects have an interdisciplinary team, involving social sciences and/or humanities.
  • Advocating the topic of responsible data science in the research community and education programmes.
  • Communicating about these topics to the public at large. An example is the project Better Together.

Further information is available by contacting prof. Wessel Kraaij (