Category: Data

Is a breakdown in trust, transparency and social cohesion a price worth paying for more extensive data linkage?

The aggregation and linkage of data collected by different public services can often be presented unproblematically as a solution to various social issues, notably so in the last year in response to the public health crisis of COVID-19. Drawing on new …

Who benefits from data for good?

The central proposition of ‘data for good’ is that corporations should publicly share data sets derived from their business activities across various areas of the economy to improve and guide policymaking. Based on their study of contributors to the Bi…

Side-stepping safeguards – Data journalists are doing science now

An aspect of the media landscape that has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the increasing role of media organisations in presenting and undertaking their own, often complex, data analyses. In this cross-post Irineo Cabreros, discusses…

Exposing the Costs of Uncounting, a review essay

What does it mean to be ‘uncounted’? It means that the uncounted – an event, an individual, a group – is invisible, absent from a world built on data. In this review essay, Mariel McKone Leonard examines two recent books, Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez and The Uncounted by Alex Cobham, that take up the task of documenting the true extent of uncounting and … Continued

The (il)logic of legibility – Why governments should stop simplifying complex systems

Thea Snow, discusses how the desire to make complex systems ‘legible’ can serve to constrain policymaking and lead to decisions that reproduce an idealised, legible, but fundamentally limited vision of the world around us.  Sometimes, you learn about an idea that really sticks with you. This happened to me recently when I learnt about “legibility” … Continued

Book Review: Data Feminism by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein

  This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. If you would like to contribute to the series, please contact the managing editor of LSE Review of Books, Dr Rosemary Deller, at lsereviewofbooks@lse.ac.uk   In Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein use an intersectional feminist lens to examine unequal power structures in the realm of data, and … Continued

Book Review: The Infographic: A History of Data Graphics in News and Communications by Murray Dick

In The Infographic: A History of Data Graphics in News and Communications, Murray Dick offers a new cultural history of the infographic, tracing its emergence and development in Britain from the eighteenth century. The book succeeds in offering an account of an evolving media form, showing the infographic to be a contradictory tool, one developed to … Continued

The public do not understand logarithmic graphs used to portray COVID-19

Mass media routinely portray information about COVID-19 deaths on logarithmic graphs. But do their readers understand them? Alessandro Romano, Chiara Sotis, Goran Dominioni, and Sebastián Guidi carried out an experiment which suggests that they don’t. What is perhaps more relevant: respondents looking at a linear scale graph have different attitudes and policy preferences towards the … Continued