Communicating numeracy in the face of absurdity

Tracey P. Lauriault sent this in to the CAPDU mailing list, and gave me permission to repost a slightly edited version here:

(At the Industry Committee meeting on the 27th)  some truly great Canadians spoke.  Civil Liberties Vonn, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg- Murdock, Canadian Council on Social Development – Taillon, Cappe, McKinnon, Beaud, (I did not see the rest) were really quite brilliant in the face of absurdity …

We need to get better at informing.   What is interesting, is we (Canadians) are now watching committees, and it is the Science and Technology Committee.  Suddenly we are learning about numbers.  Maybe it is the time to ride this wave and bump up the level of numeracy, increase science in journalism, and to really start discussing more broadly the work we do locally.  Also, it is I think the time for academic and professional associations to re-claim their authority and take on greater advocacy and communications roles.  It is great that we all go to conferences together, share our work with each other, and give out plaques, however, I think it is time that we also learn to popularize our research, learn about aesthetic information visualization and invest the time in disseminating results tangibly so that we (Canadians) may re-learn what evidenced based public policy is and re-discover what democratic deliberation is all about.

Fortunately, we have a national outcry against this absurdity on the Census, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going til the house sits on the 20th. So do go and write letters, talk to your local MP and get him/her primed on this issue.