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

Admitting failure is hard, but as academics we should learn to fail better

Failure is an inescapable part of any undertaking. However, in academia failure is rarely discussed or systematically approached. Drawing on her own experience of ‘failure moments’, Rachael Hains-Wesson discusses how applying Theory of Change models to academic projects can drive improvement in research practices and enable research to respond to failure in-the-moment, rather than in … Continued

Book Review: Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics by Charles Camic

In Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics, Charles Camic challenges the longstanding portayal of economic theorist Thorstein Veblen as a maverick outsider. Tracing the development of Veblen’s intellectual practices and affiliations, Camic instead finds an academic who was distinctly an insider, yet who turned his orthodox training against prevailing opinion. Offering an excellent account of … 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