Mathematical work can sometimes seem detached from the real world. The abstractness of statistics and datasets often mask the ways in which they can eventually be used – and misused. But for many of us, the maths that we do is not just for fun; we are producing real results, that will be used by real people, to change real things. As the creators and communicators of analysis, how much responsibility do we have to ensure our work does not cause harm through unintended consequences or misuse? Can we sit back and argue “We just do the numbers; it’s not our problem”?
Here is a link to a post I wrote last year on the Government Statistical Service website, about a talk I organised for them about Ethics in Mathematics. https://gss.civilservice.gov.uk/blog/surely-theres-no-ethics-in-mathematics/
The talk itself can be found as a recording on the Cambridge University Ethics in Mathematics Project website, here: https://ethics.maths.cam.ac.uk/assets/videos/ons.mp4