RAND Statistics Seminar Series

Information, Knowledge, and Truth: Replacing Secrecy, Ignorance, and Myth in the Wake of Atrocity

Presented by Patrick Ball, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Director, Human Rights Programs
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
Conference Room 5202, RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA

Other Locations/Times:
Washington, D.C., Conf. Rm. 7126 1:30 p.m. EST
Santa Monica, CA, Conf. Rm. 2309 10:30 a.m. PST
Please contact Denise Miller if you would like to attend this seminar.


This talk will describe the role of data analysis in political transitions to democracy. Transitions require accountability of some form, and in the aggregate, all accountability is statistical. In this talk, I will present examples of using several different kinds of data to establish political responsibility for large-scale human rights violations.

Speaker Bio

Patrick Ball is a leading innovator in applying scientific measurement to human rights. He has spent more than 20 years designing databases and conducting quantitative analysis for truth commissions, non-governmental organizations, tribunals and United Nations missions El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, South Africa, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Perú.

From 1993-2003, he worked at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Science and Human Rights Program. His most recent work is an estimate of the total deaths in Peru, 1980-2000, conducted on behalf of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Patrick has received several awards. In April 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation presented him with their Pioneer Award. In August 2002, the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association gave him a Special Achievement Award. In June 2004, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) gave Patrick the Eugene Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics.

Patrick is currently involved in HRDAG projects in Sierra Leone, Chad, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Colombia, and others.

Attending a Seminar

RAND visitors are welcome to attend and must RSVP at least one day prior to the seminar. To ensure your attendance please contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org with your name, company (or university) affiliation, and national citizenship (for security purposes).

For parking and directions to RAND's Santa Monica office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/santa-monica.html.

For parking and directions to RAND's Pittsburgh office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/pittsburgh.html.

For further information and to be added to the mailing list contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org.