“Evidence: The Use and Misuse of Data”

Inspired by the 2021 exhibition Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist, this week-long virtual symposium explored the nature of evidence. The symposium reflected Benjamin Franklin’s many different uses of information and data throughout his life.

[NOTE: In support of the #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia movement, the Wednesday session was rescheduled for Thursday, June 11, at 3:00pm EDT.]

“Evidence: The Use and Misuse of Data” was held by the American Philosophical Society on June 8-12, 2020 on Zoom.

The symposium kicked off on Monday, June 8, at 1:00pm EDT with an opening discussion with Drs. Richard Shiffrin (Indiana University, Bloomington), Stephen Stigler (The University of Chicago), and Kathleen Hall Jamieson (The University of Pennsylvania) on their paper, “The Weighing of Evidence Requires Expert Judgment and Consensus.” The discussion was moderated by Linda Greenhouse, Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Senior Research Scholar in Law, and Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence at Yale University and President of the American Philosophical Society.

The symposium continued with sessions at 3:00pm EDT Monday, June 8, and at 1:00pm EDT each day on Tuesday, June 9 through Friday, June 12. It concluded on Friday, June 12 with a final discussion featuring Dr. John R. McNeill (Georgetown University). 

Each session included brief presentations by the conference participants, comments by a moderator, and a live Q&A session. Sessions were also recorded and are available on the Society's YouTube channel.

The symposium was free of charge and open to all.