Other Edinburgh events

Charting the Course: Social 'Science' Missteps

This event is accessible via a stairlift, and has accessible bathroom facilities. Over 18s only.
Past event - 2024
14 May Doors open at 7:00pm
event begins 7:30pm and ends 9:30pm
Old Bell Inn, 233-235 Causewayside,
Edinburgh EH9 1PH
What makes social science a 'science'? And how can we tell the difference between good, bad and ugly charts? Join us to find out the answers to these questions and more!

Why all social ‘science’ is wrong

Professor John MacInnes (Professor of Sociology )
Enlightenment philosophers admired Isaac Newton and claimed to imitate him when they set out to establish ‘the science of man’. They failed. It took another century until Darwin produced the first scientific account of homo sapiens. DNA, the science of reproduction and Turing's demonstration that matter could 'think' took another 100 years. Lacking any real science of vision, language or information processing, Enlightenment thinkers merely swapped the places of ‘man’ and ‘God’, giving the 'social' in social 'science' the role formerly played by God or philosopher kings!

Painting By Numbers

Dr Plamena Panayotova (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
What makes a good chart? Or a bad, or an ugly one? And why bother with charts in the first place? In this workshop, we will look at the purpose and benefits of visualising data, using examples from history and the present. We will discuss why and how charts have come play a central role in the production and communication of empirical knowledge. We will also discuss some basic rules for interpreting charts correctly. You will learn what makes a good chart and how to spot badly designed charts, or charts designed to mislead.
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