The topic of this year’s annual meeting is “Big Data & Privacy”. Several speakers will talk about this topic from a statistical and operational point of view. Confirmed speakers are Sofie de Broe (Center for Big Data Statistics), Daniel Oberski (Utrecht Un.), Sanne Blauw (de Correspondent), Cecile Schut (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens), Ilker Birbil (Erasmus Un.), Apostolos Gkatzionis (Cambridge Un.), and Stephen Senn (Consultant Statistician).
The talk bij Sanne Blauw (de Correspondent) may be especially appealing for all of you who share our interest in the communication of statistics.
Sanne Blauw: The objectivity of statistics now and in the future
Statistics appear to be objective, but are they? Sanne Blauw (1986) started asking herself this question when she was doing research in Bolivia for her PhD in econometrics. Reality seemed way too complex to be grasped with numbers. There were many things that counted, but that she couldn’t count. Also, she saw how her own point of view affected her research. After her PhD, she decided to become a journalist for the Dutch online platform De Correspondent in order to investigate the question: What should be the role of statistics in society? And – with the rapid development of big data and algorithms – what should it be in the future?
Last fall Sanne published Het bestverkochte boek ooit (met deze titel) (The Biggest Bestseller of All Time (with this Title)). In the book she argues against putting numbers on a pedestal. On the other hand, she doesn’t want to throw them away altogether. She wants to put them back in their place: next to words. From GDP-numbers to IQ, from nutrition research to international rankings – Sanne makes clear what such numbers do and do not say.