"The first thing I think [about graphs] is: what story am I supposed to believe when I see this? What are they trying to make me think? And then immediately, once you understand 'oh they want me to think that it's really big, or it's going down really quick, this pattern is abnormal…' then I immediately think 'what other stories also fit that data?'"
Richard Denniss on what Economics is (and what it isn’t!) and how to spot Economics being misused
"So economics calls itself the science of the efficient allocation of resources. It tells itself that we help answer the question of what to produce, when to produce, and for whom to produce… but there's nothing in economics that says we shouldn't collect more tax and have a health system that's as good as the Nordic countries. There's nothing in economics that says that we should cut taxes for high income earners and spend less on aged care. These are choices."
Laura Summers on Fairness and Ethics in Data and AI
"It's actually interesting to observe the things people are trying to do with data as a way of assessing our civilisational maturity."
Linden Ashcroft on Communicating Climate Data
"The pandemic has shown us that we can act quickly and dramatically for other people, with a positive outcome. We saw a problem, we thought 'oh no, we have to do something about this problem, let's change the way we behave'… that's what we need for climate change."
Ketan Joshi – Data, climate, and communication
It's this really tense balance between the side that treats data as if it's almost reality itself, it's so accurate and precise, and empirical, that it's almost like you're holding the real world in your hand… on the other hand you have the overly sceptical side which is basically someone who has been burnt in the past, like they looked at the background and history of some data and found it was full of caveats. I wish everybody knew about the constantly evolving and shifting tension between those two extremes.