EGENIS seminar: "Quality judgment in data production processes: two case studies on economic and health data", Dr Quentin Dufour (Mines ParisTech)

Egenis seminar series

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date25 October 2021
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceOnline event.

Despite the rules and measurement conventions that structure quantification processes in statistical institutes, producing data always involve a moral dimension, that of quality judgment. By those terms, I refer to a set of techniques, knowledge and know-how, that helps a community of practice to define and evaluate what a correct data is in specific contexts. Quality judgments involve thoughts about the right ways to produce data, and the characteristics of the result to be achieved. At the crossroads of Science Studies and the sociology of quantification, this presentation tackles the problem of quality judgment following two data production processes.

The first case, that comes from my PhD thesis, is about GDP, the main representation of the national economy. Drawing on an ethnographic fieldwork at the French statistical institute, I show the daily work of statisticians and the role of choices and interpretation in the production of economic data. The second case, my future postdoctoral research project, is about health data. I plan to study an epidemiological inquiry launched in 2020 that follows the French population’s immune status. I explain the context of this project and how I aim to analyse quality judgments at different steps of the data production process.

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