The 2018 Rolf Buchdahl lecture on Science, Technology, and Human Values

Calling Bull: Data Reasoning in the Digital World 

with Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom from the University of Washington

Friday, March 16 at 5:30 pm. Reception to follow.

Duke Energy Hall, Hunt Library, 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh NC 27606

Do you know whether the TED talk you watched last night is bull — and if so, can you explain why? Can you see the problem with the latest New York Times or Washington Post article fawning over some startup's big data analytics? Can you tell when a clinical trial reported in the New England Journal or JAMA is trustworthy, and when it is just a veiled press release for some big pharma company?

In 2015, sick of lies in public discourse, and particularly by the use of big data and fancy algorithms to sell ideas, products, and political candidates, Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West decided to do something about it. Their wildly popular Calling Bull course and website teach students and the general public how to think critically about the data and models that constitute evidence in the social and natural sciences. Critical thinking is urgently needed to address the serious problems we face today.

Lecture Video

2018 speakers: Carl Bergstrom & Jevin West

Carl Bergstrom is a theoretical and evolutionary biologist who uses mathematical models and computer simulations to study how information flows through the world. Jevin West is an information scientist with a PhD in biology who studies the science of science. He looks at the origin of scholarly disciplines and how sociological and economic factors drive and slow the evolution of science. Both at the University of Washington, Bergstrom and West are prolific and widely-cited authors and award-winning teachers.

Since 1981, the Rolf Buchdahl Lecture has been North Carolina State University's annual interdisciplinary public discussion of science, technology & human values. 


Carl Bergstrom & Jevin West

Contact Matthew Booker for more information.