Professor Richard Pettigrew's Inaugural lecture - Implicit Bias

3 March 2015, 6.00 PM - 3 March 2015, 8.00 PM

Professor Richard Pettigrew

Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building

"The art of thinking"

For the past fifty years, psychologists have documented the various ways in which we are irrational; they have described the many biases and fallacies to which we are prone. For many years more, philosophers, logicians, and statisticians have tried to codify the rules of rational thought. But how can we discover these rules? How is it possible to use reason to investigate its own proper function? What role can philosophy play in addressing these problems? I explore one strategy that I have developed over the past five years for justifying the principles of statistical inference. In the second half of the lecture, I turn from academic questions to questions about the academy. I reflect on the effects that some of these irrational biases have had on the diversity of participation in academic institutions. I describe the catastrophic under-representation of certain groups that has resulted, both amongst the academic staff and amongst the student body; and I discuss how we might think differently about participation in academic life order to reverse these trends. 

Everyone welcome and it is free to attend. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Wills Memorial Building.

For further details please visit the following website:


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