“Ontcijferd” (working title) – a popular science book for De Correspondent publishers
What should be the role of statistics in society?
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.
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)