HKBU Journalism Scholar Receives Fulbright Award for Second Time

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Dr Celine Song, Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), has received the 2019-20 Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award from the US government in recognition of her promising research.

She is one of only two recipients of the award across all subject areas in Hong Kong this year, and one of the few scholars at local universities to have been honored with the prestigious Fulbright award twice.

Dr Song will work on an interdisciplinary research project at Cornell University in the United States for eight months starting in September. The project will use big data analytics to study online popular opinions around climate change issues in China and the US. The findings will have implications for the role of social media in facilitating evidence-based deliberations around climate change.

Dr Song received the 2010-11 Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Junior Scholar Award when she was still a PhD student. Dr Song said: “For me, Fulbright is special. Nine years ago, thanks to Fulbright, I went to the University of California, Berkeley and wrote my dissertation there. This time, I look forward to working with my collaborators at Cornell University. Novel techniques in natural language processing and machine learning will be used to investigate the change and continuity of online public opinion. Drawing on the recent advances in network analysis and experimental designs in computational social science, I hope this project can bring about new insights on the underlying mechanisms which account for the change in online public opinion.”

Dr Song’s research interests straddle global communication, computer-mediated networks, digital media, and cyber-psychology and behavior. She is the Director of the AI and Media Research Lab in the School of Communication at HKBU. The laboratory was launched for the purpose of developing and applying artificial intelligence (AI) related technologies to media and communication. Using integrated computational approaches and traditional social science methods, Dr Song and her team have been utilizing large-scale demographic, behavioral and network data to investigate human perception, activities, and relationships.

The Fulbright-RGC Research Scholar Program is the flagship international education exchange program run by the US government in partnership with the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and with the support of the Lee Hysan Foundation. Each year it supports two senior university scholars and eight postgraduate students to conduct research at American universities and research institutes for a duration of four to ten months.