Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Max Roser

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Name  Max Roser
Role  Economist
Max Roser httpspbstwimgcomprofileimages4857544192715
Influences  Tony Atkinson, Amartya Sen, Steven Pinker, Angus Deaton
Influenced by  Sir Anthony Barnes Atkinson, Amartya Sen, Steven Pinker, Angus Deaton
Institution  Nuffield College, Oxford, Oxford Martin School

Max roser good data will make you an economic optimist wired 2015


Max Roser is an economist and media critic. He is known for his research on global trends of living conditions and his visualisations of these trends. He is currently a research fellow in economics at the University of Oxford.

He is critical of the mass media's excessive focus on single events which he claims is not helpful in informing the audience about the state of the world and how the world is changing. In contrast to this event-focussed rubbernecking Roser advocates the adoption of a broader, more holistic perspective on the living conditions around the world: This perspective means looking at inequality and a particular focus on those living in poverty – the focus on the upper classes, especially in historical perspective, is misleading since it is not exposing the hardship of those in the worst living conditions. Secondly, he advocates to look at larger trends in poverty, education, health and violence since these are slowly, but persistently changing the world and are neglected in the reporting of today's mass media.

Roser is the author of Our World In Data, a web publication about how living conditions around the world are changing. The publication covers a wide range of aspects of development: global health, food provision, the growth and distribution of incomes, violence, rights, wars, education, environmental changes, among others. The publication makes use of data visualisations which are licensed under Creative Commons and are widely used in media publications and teaching material. An important aspect of this publication is that Roser points out the limits of quantitative information. The publication has had more than 1 million readers per year (September 2015). In his advocacy of prioritising the perspective on slowly evolving structures over the media's "event history" he is following the agenda of the French Annales School with their focus on the longue duree. Roser is a regular speaker at conferences where he presents empirical data on how the world is changing.

While his research is concerned with rising income inequality he maintains that in many important aspects the world has made important progress in improving living conditions and aims to show this change by visualising the empirical evidence for these long-term trends. Roser has said that his work is not about saying that we live in a perfect world, but that his aim is to point out out the direction of change around the world. Roser has said that the world's most severe problem is global poverty.

He has been called “The Data-Driven Optimist” and Tina Rosenberg emphasised in The New York Times that Roser’s work presents a “big picture that’s an important counterpoint to the constant barrage of negative world news”. Steven Pinker placed Roser’s Our World In Data on his list of his personal “cultural highlights”.

References

Max Roser Wikipedia


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