PoS seminar 25.1. with Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian

At the next PoS seminar on Monday 25.1., Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian (University of Cambridge) will give a presentation titled “Democratising measurement”. The seminar takes place in Zoom from 2 to 4 pm.

Perspectives on Science is a weekly research seminar which brings together experts from science studies and philosophy of science. It is organized by TINT, the Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar here.

To join the seminar please contact tatu.nuotio@helsinki.fi for the Zoom invitation.

Author bios:

Anna Alexandrova is a Reader in Philosophy of Science and the Principal Investigator on Expertise Under Pressure project at the Centre for Humanities and Social Change at the University of Cambridge. She studies how scientists navigate morally charged and complex phenomena and the role of formal tools such as models and indicators in their scholarly and public work.

Mark Fabian is a welfare economist working on the Measuring Well-Being project at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the epistemology and ethics of well-being metrics, especially how policymakers and citizens understand well-being, its measurement, and the legitimacy of well-being policy interventions.


Valid measurement is a necessary precondition for causal inference and for testing. In social sciences we often measure value-laden phenomena such as well-being, educational success, fairness, equality, poverty, and so on. What is responsible measurement when value judgments are involved? In this talk we discuss why standard procedures for psychometric validation are not up for this task and how they are currently being challenged by various democratising approaches such as stakeholder engagement and co-creation.