10-Minute Talks: Dark data

by Professor David Hand FBA

18 Nov 2020

The world’s leading professors explain the latest thinking in the humanities and social sciences in just 10 minutes.

In the era of big data, it is easy to imagine that we have all the information we need to make good decisions. But in fact, the data we have is never complete. Just as much of the universe is composed of dark matter, invisible to us but nonetheless present, the universe of information is full of dark data that we overlook at our peril.

In this talk David Hand explores dark data in the context of COVID-19 and the many ways in which we can be blind to missing data and how that can lead us to conclusions and actions that are mistaken, dangerous, or even disastrous. He also outlines how the pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of valid, relevant, timely, and accurate data and even how dark data can be used to our advantage, leading to greater understanding and better decision-making.

His book, Dark Data: Why What You Don’t Know Matters was published in January 2020.

Speaker: Professor David Hand FBA, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Imperial College, London; Senior Research Investigator, Imperial College London

10-Minute Talks are a series of pre-recorded talks from Fellows of the British Academy screened each Wednesday on YouTube and also available on Apple Podcasts.

If you have any questions about this talk, please email events@thebritishacademy.ac.uk.

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