Measurement and Power: Perspectives on ‘The Limits of the Numerical’

18 July 2018, 09:30 - 18:00

SG1/2 Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site

The event is free to attend but booking is required. To book your place please click here or use the online registration link in this page.

Metrics are hugely important in guiding decisions made by organisations as diverse as firms, universities and government departments. But how is it that organisations choose what gets measured and devise particular metrics, and why do some metrics, but not others, take root, survive over time, and travel across institutional and geographical sites?  How can bad metrics be effectively challenged, and how can political battles be fought with the help of metrics? This workshop will bring together invited keynote speakers and members of the Limits of the Numerical research teams from the University of Cambridge, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Drawing together perspectives from the disciplines of anthropology, English, philosophy, political science, and sociology, the workshop will also provide an opportunity to critically reflect on the power and limits of interdisciplinary research in this area.

This event is convened by the Limits of the Numerical project at CRASSH and is funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation

 

 

9.30-9.45

Registration

9.45-10.00

WELCOME

Stephen John (University of Cambridge)

10.00-11.15

KEYNOTE 1

Sally Engle Merry (New York University)
What is Counted and What Counts?  The Infrastructure of Measurement

11.15-11.45

Coffee break

11.45-13.00

OPEN DISCUSSION: EMERGENT THEMES FROM EACH OF THE THREE TEAMS

Gabriele Badano (University of Cambridge)
Greg Lusk (University of Chicago)
Heather Steffen (UC Santa Barbara)

13.00-14.00

Lunch

14.00-15.15

KEYNOTE 2

Emmanuel Didier (Centre Maurice Halbwachs, École Normale Supérieure, Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and CNRS)
The socio-history of quantification and Statactivism

15.15-15.45

Tea break

15.45-17.00

OPEN DISCUSSION: POLITICAL BATTLES WITH AND AROUND NUMBERS

Liz Chatterjee (University of Chicago)
Trenholme Junghans (University of Cambridge)
Chris Newfield (UC Santa Barbara)

17.00

Wine reception