Tutorial: Penelope climate change debate observatory

  • Tom Willaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
  • Katrien Beuls, Paul Van Eecke, Jeroen Van Soest
Live Stream MPI für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften Leipzig (Live Stream)


The Penelope climate change opinion observatory offers a low-barrier collection of instruments for studying opinion landscapes on the climate crisis using data from a range of digital sources. These cover news media (e.g. the Guardian), social news media (e.g. Reddit), microblogging sites (e.g. Twitter), and political discussions (e.g. Transcripts of parliamentary debates from the UK and Germany). The platform thus aims to cater to the information needs of researchers, journalists, policy makers and engaged citizens with varying degrees of technical proficiency.

The observatory’s interface offers users the flexibility to chain together data analytics components developed in the ODYCCEUS project into custom pipelines. These components cover the research cycle from the phase of data gathering up to the actual reporting on analyses. Current tools within the climate change opinion observatory include:

  • Data from the aforementioned sources and an interface for selecting and filtering data by keywords, date range and number of posts or articles.
  • Preprocessing components for extracting textual information of interest, including named entities, word co-occurrences, and causal frames.
  • Components for in-depth analysis and visualization of the extracted information, including causal maps, plots of causal distributions, and statement graphs.
  • A reporting tool that fosters reproducibility of the research by keeping track of the activated components and their settings.

In this session, we provide a tutorial of the observatory and present some of the incorporated data analytics components that are part of the Penelope ecosystem of tools for computational social science.


26.10.20 28.10.20

Observing debates across media platforms: tools and models - an ODYCCEUS online event

MPI für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften Leipzig Live Stream

Antje Vandenberg

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany Contact via Mail

Eckehard Olbrich

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany