Regular Article

The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 214, Issue 1, pp 325-346

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Manifesto of computational social science

  • R. ConteAffiliated withISTC-CNR Email author 
  • , N. GilbertAffiliated withCRESS, University of Surrey
  • , G. BonelliAffiliated withISTC-CNR
  • , C. Cioffi-RevillaAffiliated withCenter for Social Complexity, George Mason University
  • , G. DeffuantAffiliated withNational Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA)
  • , J. KerteszAffiliated withInstitute of Physics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • , V. LoretoAffiliated withSapienza University of Rome
  • , S. MoatAffiliated withUniversity College London
  • , J. -P. NadalAffiliated withCNRS
    • , A. SanchezAffiliated withGISC, Carlos III University of Madrid
    • , A. NowakAffiliated withCenter for Complex Systems, University of Warsaw
    • , A. FlacheAffiliated withICS, University of Groningen
    • , M. San MiguelAffiliated withIFISC (CSIC-UIB), Campus Universitat Illes Balears
    • , D. HelbingAffiliated withETH Zurich


The increasing integration of technology into our lives has created unprecedented volumes of data on society’s everyday behaviour. Such data opens up exciting new opportunities to work towards a quantitative understanding of our complex social systems, within the realms of a new discipline known as Computational Social Science. Against a background of financial crises, riots and international epidemics, the urgent need for a greater comprehension of the complexity of our interconnected global society and an ability to apply such insights in policy decisions is clear. This manifesto outlines the objectives of this new scientific direction, considering the challenges involved in it, and the extensive impact on science, technology and society that the success of this endeavour is likely to bring about.

Graphical abstract