Entries by Elizabeth Hannon

The Limits of the Numerical | Stephen John

There are many good reasons to want social policy to be based, where possible, on numerical evidence and indicators. If the data clearly shows that placing babies on their back reduces the risk of cot death, this information should guide the advice which midwives give to new parents. On the other hand, not everything that matters can be measured, and not everything that can be measured matters. The care a midwife offers may be better or worse in ways that cannot be captured by statistical indicators. Furthermore, even when we are measuring something that matters, numbers require interpretation and explanation before they can be used to guide action. It is important to know if neo-natal mortality rates are rising or falling, but the proper interpretation of this data may require subtle analysis. To make matters worse, many actors aren’t interested in proper interpretation, but in using the numbers to achieve some other end; as a stick with which to beat the midwifery profession, say.

Associate Editor Lara Buchak Featured in this Year’s Philosopher’s Annual

BJPS Associate Editors don’t just act as midwives to great philosophy, they produce it too! Hot on the heels of ex-Associate Editor Marc Lange, Lara Buchak is featured in this year’s Philosopher’s Annual for her joint paper ‘Groupthink’, written with Jeffrey Sanford Russell and John Hawthorn, and published in Philosophical Studies.

IF Success, Then Celebrate!

Editing is more often than not a thankless job (look away now, potential Co-Editor-in-Chiefs). However, this is one of those rare happy moments when it all comes good. Yesterday, Thomson Reuters released the Journal Citation Report for 2015 and the BJPS continues its lead among philosophy of science journals, with an impact factor of 1.738.

The Burden of Proofs | Beth Hannon

One of the always-frustrating aspects of being a copy editor is that it requires an obsessive nature as well as a willingness to accept that perfection isn’t possible; no matter how many times your check the proofs, there’ll always be something that makes it into the final version. Obviously enough, such obsessiveness and knowing when to let go aren’t traits often found to co-exist in one mere human. And in correcting others’ mistakes—and in writing posts such as this—Muphry’s law looms large. All in all, you’re asking for trouble. But despite opening the door to public ridicule, we thought we’d add to our ‘how to’ series with something on copy-editing.