Keynote Address


The Ethics of Counting - Dr. Deborah Stone

March 22 2018

Isabel Bader Theatre / 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Contrary to what you learned in kindergarten, counting is as much an imaginative process as literature and art. In order to count a group of things, you first have to decide which things are similar enough to belong in the same group. From that simple idea springs a host of ethical issues that go way deeper than “how to lie with statistics.” Whose interests get counted in any measure? How can modes of counting actually change the way we think and relate to each other, for better and for worse? Should statisticians be held accountable for the uses to which their numbers are put?

Lecturer Dr. Deborah Stone specializes in analyzing the politics of policymaking in advanced industrial states as well as developing countries. She is best known for her textbook on the topic, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, which has had four editions over 25 years and has been translated into five languages. Her research focuses on health policy, disability policy, and caregiving, but also addresses a wider range of policy issues. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Brandeis University.