‘Data revolution’: what should everyone be asking?

September 5, 2020 4:15 - 5:45

Location: Virtual Room 3


We’re in the middle of a ‘data revolution’. Large, detailed datasets and complex algorithms allow us to make predictions on anything from marine pollution effects to who is likely to commit a crime. Governments across Europe are spending billions of euros on ‘big data strategies’ that will revolutionise everything from transport and farming to healthcare and banking.
Yet, despite the fact that many institutions are anxious to engage the public more in evidence and in working out what is reliable information, little thought has been given to equipping people to ask the fundamental questions on this science that will affect every part of life. Which data models and claims are reliable? How can people tell? How can politicians tell? Journalists reporting the latest Facebook PR? Public institutions buying data based decision software about where to target resources? What equipment do we all need to talk about this?
As members of the public, journalists, politicians or decision makers – our discussions about quality must expand to include data claims and the weight they can bear.
This is a discussion about how citizens, politicians and journalists can press for quality and responsibility in data science derived evidence. This session will be an inversion – a panel-led interview with an audience of research and policy organisations about how best to pursue these questions and potential solutions."

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