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22 Mar

Walter Gordon Symposium Keynote: The Ethics of Counting

March 7, 2018 | By |

Come listen as Dr. Deborah Stone discusses the ethical issues that go way deeper than “how to lie with statistics.”

Dr. Deborah Stone

Contrary to what you learned in kindergarten, counting is as much an imaginative process as literature and art. In order to count a group of things, you first have to decide which things are similar enough to belong in the same group. From that simple idea springs a host of ethical issues that go way deeper than “how to lie with statistics.” Whose interests get counted in any measure? How can modes of counting actually change the way we think and relate to each other, for better and for worse? Should statisticians be held accountable for the uses to which their numbers are put?

Deborah Stone is now Professor Emerita at Brandeis University and is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Her book, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision-Making, is in its fourth edition, has been translated into five languages, and won the American Political Science Association’s Award for an Enduring Contribution to Policy Studies. Her other books include The Disabled State, about the origins and evolution of public policy for people with disabilities; and The Samaritan’s Dilemma, a call for harnessing altruism, rather than self-interest, as the moral engine of political life.

Stone recently received the American Political Science Association’s 2017 James Madison Award, a lifetime achievement award for distinguished scholarly contribution to the field. She has consulted to the Social Security Administration, the Institute of Medicine, the Human Genome Project, and the Niti (Public Policy) Foundation in Nepal.


Thursday, March 22, 2018 | 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM


Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 2C7

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