Thank you for your support and contribution to our Seminar. We will return this fall with four events, followed by a series of workshops on climate change in the spring.

Upcoming events for fall 2021 include a discussion of Canay Özden-Schilling’s new book The Current Economy: Electricity Markets and Techno-Economics, and a talk by Sandra Laugier on how data figures as ordinary aesthetics in TV shows. We will also be hearing about various digital humanities projects at Johns Hopkins, specifically the Black Beyond Data project, headed by Jessica Marie Johnson, Kim Gallon, and Sasha White, as well as Chris Cannon and Thomas Lippincott’s recent work on primary sources, computational intelligence, and discovering connections between fields.

Sawyer Seminar: Precision and Uncertainty in a World of Data

The Sawyer Seminar on Precision and Uncertainty in a World of Data is organized by the Departments of Anthropology and the History of Medicine and the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Throughout its two-year run (2019-2021), the Seminar will explore questions around what kinds of ethical and social issues are new about our Big Data moment, what has carried over from the past, and what kinds of methods and approaches might help us extend our understanding of this moment’s specificity.

On this website, you can find more information about the Seminar directors and staff, our schedule of events, notes on our past events, and resources that help explore data and society. We hope for this website to serve as an archive for what we have learned over the course of the Seminar, as well as a gateway for resources on data and society that will outlive the Seminar’s run. We encourage you to check out our latest events, projects, and commentary below:


Sponsor Institutions:



Header Images (Art Works) Credit:

Rachel Ara. “This Much I’m Worth (The Self-evaluating Artwork): Korean Version” in Vertiginous Data at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea. Photo taken by Sumin Myung.

Sylvee Kim. “Trinity: Finance-Credo-Spirituality” in Vertiginous Data at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea. Photo taken by Sumin Myung.

Danilo Zamboni. “PerspectivischeExplosionszeichnung” in Zugang für Alle: São Paulos Soziale Infrastrukturen at Pinakothek der Moderne, München, Germany. Photo taken by Sumin Myung.

Nam June Paik. “Video Chandelier No. 1” at Nam June Paik Art Center, Seongnam, South Korea. Photo taken by Sumin Myung.

Soyo Lee. “TV Garden: Notes” in Ecological Senses at Nam June Paik Art Center, Seongnam, South Korea. Photo taken by Sumin Myung.