In this podcast series, Professor Thomas J Scotto, Dean of Learning and Teaching in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow, looks at government statistics, challenges faced by civil servants who produce official statistics in an era of political polarisation and misinformation, and what can affect the trust the public has in statistics.
Many of the challenges thrown up by early 19th century efforts at data collection remain relevant to us in an era of omnipresent data. In this inaugural podcast, Tom Scotto talks to Dr Michela Hulme, a historian, and genealogist who utilises the UK censuses of the 19th century in her research.
The discussion focuses on challenges faced in initial data generation and collection efforts, early political controversies, and how these Victorian pioneers speak to current issues.
The podcast series directly accompanies the Statistics in Government class taught by Professor Scotto at the University of Glasgow but can be a useful accompaniment to other courses in statistics and society. The podcasts also will be of interest to those who have questions about how government statistics are developed. The focus is on National and Official Statistics in the United Kingdom, but several episodes make cross-national comparisons and cover more general topics.