CIVICA Applied Data Science Seminar Series

Session 8 - Spring 2024

Session 8 - Spring 2024 will take place on Wednesday, 4:00 PM CET 15 May, on Zoom Meeting

About The Series

The CIVICA Data Science Seminar series is a unique multi-disciplinary series focused on applications and methodologies of data science for the social, political, and economic world.

Session 8 Spring 2022 Details

Over the past two decades, the United States witnessed a severe public health crisis known as the opioid epidemic, which claimed thousands of lives through overdose and inflicted suffering due to Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). This talk will explore public health monitoring, pharmacovigilance, and rehabilitation aspects of the opioid epidemic through the lens of user-generated content from Reddit, a major social media platform in the US. Employing cutting-edge information retrieval, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing techniques, we will uncover quantitative results that provide a fresh, data-driven perspective on the crisis. Our discussion will focus on: a) effectively monitoring where non-medical opioid consumption takes place and estimating the extent of drug usage to help prioritise interventions and prevent overdose deaths b) understanding how these drugs, which are often prescriptions intended for therapeutic use, are tampered with and consumed for unintended non-medical purposes, and c) understanding how to help those who suffer from Opioid Use Disorder begin and sustain recovery from drug use. These insights will illustrate the potential of social media data in addressing public health challenges such as the opioid epidemic.

Seminar Speaker

Prof. Lackner
Dr. Duilio Balsamo

Duilio Balsamo is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Bocconi University. His research focuses on Computational Social Science, i.e., understanding individual and collective behaviour using techniques such as Machine Learning, Network Science, and Natural Language Processing on digital data and social media. During his PhD in Modeling and Data Science, he worked on addressing several aspects of the Opioid Epidemic in the US, such as Public Health Monitoring, Pharmacovigilance and Rehabilitation, leveraging Reddit data. He now works on using digital data to understand the behavioural determinants of vaccine uptake/hesitancy and to inform epidemiological models.


Dr. Lorenzo Lucchini

Welcome Introduction Dr. Lorenzo Lucchini, Bocconi University

Setting the scene: Brief intro to the speaker and his talk

Dr. Duilio Balsamo

Seminar Session Dr. Duilio Balsamo, Bocconi University

The Opioid Epidemic Through the Lens of Reddit

Research Discussion. Lead Institution

Q&A / Discussion on the research


Upcoming seminar in the series and other announcements

Event Recording