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BC Library Conference 2017

April 19–21, 2017

Vancouver, BC

T03 - Calling Bullsh*t in the Age of Big Data

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 9:00 AM–10:15 AM PDT
Cordova Ballroom
Session Description

The world is awash in bullshit. In response, Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West have created a new class aimed at this BS: The class is focused on calling BS in academic discourse, including topics such as fake news. The class is being taught at the University of Washington and several other universities around the country. In this session, they will talk about ways to identify BS, sift through it and respond to it. Most importantly, there will be open discussions on how to make these skills and teaching material available to the general public.


Jevin West, University of Washington

Jevin West is an Assistant Professor at the Information School at the University of Washington and co-director of the DataLab. Broadly, he works in the area of data science and data reasoning and has developed education programs at UW for undergraduates, masters and PhD students. His research centers on an emerging discipline called the Science of Science, which reads the literature at the scale of millions of publications in order to identify the origin of ideas, investigate social biases in science, understand publishing and funding decisions, and build better search interfaces for better navigating large corpora. More details on his research and teaching can be found at:

Carl T. Bergstrom, University of Washington

Carl Bergstrom is a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington, and a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. His research interests range from evolutionary theory to animal communication to bibliometrics to whatever the other members of his group are working on at the moment.