Data Ethics Club meeting 17-11-21, 1pm UK time#

Meeting info#


You’re welcome to join us for our next Data Ethics Club meeting on Wednesday the 17th November at 1pm UK time. You don’t need to register, just pop in. This time we’re going to watch/read Statistics, Eugenics, and Me by statistican/data scientist Raphael Sonabend, which is a blog post, reflecting on his personal experience of learning about statistics and eugenics as an academic practicing statistics, including quotes from Galton, Pearson and Fischer.

Thank you to Nina for suggesting this week’s content!

If you’re looking for further reading on this topic, you might want to look at this paper published in Nature earlier this year.

Discussion points#

There will be time to talk about whatever we like, relating to the paper, but here are some specific questions to think about:

  • To what extent were you already aware of the relationship between statistics and eugenics? Do you have any additional information about this that you’d like to share?

  • Do you find the quotations provided by the author to be enough evidence to label the statisticians as supporters of racist or ablist eugenics? What other information do you find to be relevant?

  • How do you think that a researcher’s support of racist or ablist eugenics should impact the way their work is taught, or how their names are used for other purposes in research communities?