Ethics

Making Sense of Data in the 2019 General Election

Statistics are not the final objective answer to things. They can be interpreted in lots of different ways, even when none of those ways is wrong per se. That opens up a space for public debate, which is good news, but it also opens up a space where statistics can either be lauded as the truth (when they are not), or dismissed out of hand as ‘biased’.

2 years ago
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Guelph-eugenics-document

How One University Shared Its Oppressive Past

For the first time, a Canadian university — the University of Guelph — is reconciling with its history of teaching eugenics. Few universities in Canada have looked closely at their historical involvement in oppressive research, teaching and practice. Fewer still have made their archives accessible.

2 years ago
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Old map with dragons

Lying With Maps and Census Data

Geographer Frank Donnelly notes that census geography and maps are not automatically reliable – they can be used to intentionally skew research findings.

2 years ago
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Dickens’s Heart of Darkness – Not Your Muppet Christmas Carol

If you missed the broadcast of the new BBC/FX version of A Christmas Carol, it is well worth tracking down on a streaming service. While the production is occasionally bonkers, it brilliantly captures Charles Dickens’s passionate anger about social injustice in Victorian Britain.

2 years ago
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Popular Science: Spot Crooks by their Ears!

Would Popular Science Books Benefit from a Rating System?

Standing in a powerful pose increases your testosterone levels. Ten thousand hours of practice leads to mastery and high achievement. Eating out of large bowls encourages overeating. These are just a few examples of big ideas that have formed the basis of popular science books, only to be overturned by further research or a closer reading of the evidence…

2 years ago
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