Recently Tyler Cowen asked whether there has been progress in Philosophy. Agnes Callard wrote a thoughtful reply, saying amongst other things: We don’t demand progress in the fields of fashion or literature, because these things please us. Philosophy, by contrast, is bitter, and we want to know what good it will do us, and when, finally, it will be over. It is not pleasant to be told that maybe you don’t know who you are, or how to treat your friends, or how to be happy.

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To close out what has become demography week, I combined the US monthly birth data with data for England and Wales (from the same ONS source as before), so that I could look at the trends together. The monthly England and Wales data I have to hand runs from 1938 to 1991. I thought combining the monthly tiled heatmap and the LOESS decomposition would work well as a poster, so I made one.

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Recent Work

  • “Visualizing the Baby Boom.” Socius 4: 1-2 Abstract  pdf
  • “The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science.” Abstract  pdf
  • “Transformative Treatments.” Noûs, forthcoming. Abstract  pdf
  • Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction. Forthcoming. Princeton University Press. When can I buy it? Abstract
  • “By the Numbers.” European Journal of Sociology (2017), 58:512-519 Abstract  pdf

Current Teaching


I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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