For Release: April 30, 1998
RELEASE NO. 98-020
INNUMERACY, NEWSPAPERS AND DEMOCRACY:
Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
Mathematical illiteracy can put readers at a disadvantage in
thinking about issues in the news that may seem on the surface not
to involve mathematics at all. Dr. John Allen Paulos will present a
talk on "Innumeracy, Newspapers and Democracy" at a colloquium on
Tuesday, May 5, at 2 p.m.
A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of
the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd. in
Hampton. Media who wish to attend this briefing should contact
Janice Johnson (757) 864-6123.
Paulos, a best-selling author, mathematician and public speaker,
will discuss "Innumeracy" and his most recent book, "A
Mathematician Reads the Newspaper." The book investigates the
mathematical angles of news stories, such as how probability and
randomness can enhance articles on crime, health risks or other
societal obsessions, or how logic and self-reference may help to
clarify the work of spin-doctors.
Paulos is a professor of mathematics at Temple University in
Philadelphia. He is the author of a number of papers on
mathematical logic, probability and the philosophy of science, and
the author of the best-seller book "Innumeracy."
A similar presentation will be given by Paulos at 7:30 p.m. at
the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.
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