Conor Gaughan is currently a PhD research student in Politics based in the school of Economic, Social, and Political Sciences at the University of Southampton. Conor's ESRC-funded PhD is an interdisciplinary project which applies computational and statistical techniques from the fields of mathematics and computer science. These fields intersect with political science to investigate the way in which the use of social media by political elites is contributing to attitude polarisation in the UK.
Conor’s research is particularly focused on reconstructing social media affiliation networks of political elite actors and analysing these networks to estimate ideological maps. It also employs the use of natural language processing for tracking the flow of information between different elite networks online and analysing its impact on the attitudes of the wider public.
Overall, his work looks to demonstrate how we can leverage modern data science techniques and the growing presence of political elites on social media to better understand our social and political landscape.