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Published January 23 2005

Ethics discussion open to public

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute is offering a public forum, “The Ethics of Numbers: The Use and Abuse of Statistics,” from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at North Dakota State University.

The event will be in the Memorial Union’s Century Theater.

Panelists are NDSU professors Charles Harter, Donald Miller, Richard Rathge and Herbert Snyder. Professor James Danielson from Minnesota State University Moorhead is also on the panel.

“Most people rely on objective statistics to make their most important decisions,” said John Helgeland, NPEI director, in a news release.

However, recent actions by federal agencies and others demonstrate that numbers can be manipulated to distort reality, he said.

The forum will examine how the use of statistics affects ethical and social issues of the Northern Plains and beyond.