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Conor Mayo-Wilson
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Conor Mayo-Wilson

University of Washington

Fellowship year

2024 - University of Washington - Study 40

At CASBS, Conor Mayo-Wilson will complete a book that explores the relationship between two roles that statistical evidence plays in contemporary societies.  First, evidence directs scientific inquiry.  In this role, evidence is quantified and guides the selection of scientific hypotheses for further investigation.  Second, evidence confers obligations and rights.  For example, prosecutors are obliged to disclose exculpatory evidence, and medical researchers have a duty to disclose evidence that a treatment may have harmful side effects. Mayo-Wilson’s project is to identify the conditions under which evidence can play both roles simultaneously, or in other words, to answer the question, “When do the mathematical formulae in statistics textbooks elucidate our obligations and rights?”

Mayo-Wilson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is also a member of the executive committee for the Center for Statistics in the Social Sciences.  His primary research interests lie in philosophy of science, social epistemology, and decision theory.  Mayo-Wilson’s work has been featured in the New York Times, and he is a member of the editorial board for the journal Philosophy of Science.  For more information, see