This question is a follow up to a longer comment thread, the gist of which is that the approach that Stack Overflow uses to develop surveys can introduce significant bias into the results. Social scientists are trained to avoid this bias as well as being trained to explore why communities react the way that they do. While I know that Stack Overflow employees a number of data scientists as well as some people in marketing that have some experience with surveys, neither of these is quite the same having a dedicated social scientist on staff.1
There has been increasing research out of the scholarly community as well that a transdisciplinary approach (e.g. software developers, UI/UX experts, and social scientists) are needed to avoid bias in software development and "black box" decision making algorithms. Given Stack Overflows prominence on the internet it seems like they would be remiss to not employ a fairly diverse team in terms of their professional training. As such, does Stack Overflow employ any social scientists?
- I recall a conference where a toxicologist underscored the need to have a social scientist as part of the research team since they got at the crux of why people were persisting in using environmental contaminants.