July 27, 2017 Print

Numbers are powerful when debating a policy issue. Statistics inform effective analysis, interpretation, and storytelling of an issue. In this upcoming webinar about backing up arguments with data, the editor of HumanProgress.org and a senior policy analyst at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Marian Tupy, will discuss why data is so important for think tanks in winning a policy debate and how to create a powerful story using data and analysis.

Atlas Network caught up with Tupy in advance of his upcoming webinar:

Evidence from academic institutions and international organizations shows dramatic improvements in human well being. These improvements are especially striking in the developing world. Unfortunately, there is often a wide gap between the reality and public perception, including that of many policymakers, scholars in unrelated fields, and intelligent lay persons. To make matters worse, the media emphasizes bad news, while ignoring many positive long-term trends.

That is a problem. People who are ignorant about the improving state of the world or feel that “things are getting worse,” are less likely to support policies and institutions, including economic and political freedoms, that make human progress possible in the first place. By showing the extent of progress that humanity has made especially over the last two hundred years or so, we hope to convince people that free markets and liberal democracy are worth supporting.

Smart think tanks are using data to enhance their value proposition and visibility. [A big challenge is figuring out] how to extract value from large and unstructured data sets and interpret them for the relevant audience. Interpreting data … is a critical skill set and an ongoing learning process for people in the think tank business.

HumanProgress.org is a project of Cato Institute that aims at correcting misperceptions regarding the state of humanity through presentation of empirical data that focuses on long-term developments.

Click here to register for the webinar on August 17 at 10:00 a.m. EST. This webinar is open to anyone, and might be of special interest for college students, professors, and researchers.