Measuring, Mismeasuring, and Measuring the Wrong Thing | Newberry

Measuring, Mismeasuring, and Measuring the Wrong Thing

Carl Bialik

Carl Bialik

Jerry Z. Muller

Jerry Z. Muller

Carl Bialik and Jerry Muller on the Use and Abuse of Data
Thursday, May 23, 2019

6 to 7 pm

Ruggles Hall

Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Open to the Public
Conversations at the Newberry

Listen to an audio recording or read a transcript of the program.

In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Carl Bialik and Jerry Muller discuss our society’s increasing obsession with quantifying performance in all walks of life: education, medicine, business and finance, government, the police and military, and philanthropy and foreign aid. Have we moved from measuring performance to fixating on measurement itself?

Carl Bialik is an American journalist, currently Data Science Editor of Yelp, working on Yelpblog. Formerly, he was the creator and writer of the weekly Numbers Guy column for the Wall Street Journal, about the use and (particularly) misuse of numbers and statistics in the news and advocacy. He is also a cofounder of the online-only Gelf Magazine, and has written for

Jerry Z. Muller, professor of history at Catholic University of America, is author of seven books, including most recently The Tyranny of Metrics. His research crosses borders among history, social science, philosophy, and public policy on a variety of historical and contemporary subjects, including capitalism; nationalism; conservatism; the history of social, political, economic, and religious thought; and modern German and Jewish history.

Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute.

“Conversations at the Newberry” is generously sponsored by Sue and Melvin Gray.

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Cost and Registration Information 

Open to the public; free tickets required. Obtain tickets using this online form for this program by 3 pm Thursday, May 23. 

Doors open half an hour before the program begins, with first-come, first-served seating for registered attendees. Space permitting, walk-ins will be admitted 10 minutes before the event starts.

People with disabilities and other accessibility concerns can request to be seated first. To reserve an access-friendly space in the room, first register using the link above, then email at least 48 hours before the event. Seats arranged in this way will be held until 10 minutes before the event starts.