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Blauw, Sanne

Blauw, Sanne


“Ontcijferd” (working title) – a popular science book for De Correspondent publishers

Research Question

What should be the role of statistics in society?

Project Description

Numbers dominate society. Whether it’s in politics or business, education or healthcare – the maxim is ‘to measure is to know.’ And why wouldn’t it be? Statistics seem to have the power to capture reality in an objective manner. That’s a misconception, however.  Numbers are not an objective registration of the world; they are coloured, moral and human.

This book is about the consequences of this widespread use of statistics.  I show how it has created a world with winners and losers, where we only count what can be counted and distance ourselves from moral decisions.

I also show how we can use statistics differently. We should put numbers back in their place. Not on a pedestal. Not with the trash. But where they belong: next to words.

Selected Publications

1) My talk at TEDxMaastricht (video)

2) Why we know less about developing countries than we think (article for De Correspondent)

3) Well-to-do or doing well? Empirical studies of wellbeing and development (PhD thesis)

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