Calling Bull: Data Literacy and Information Science

Subject code


Course Number



C. Diaz-Eaton

Course Long Title

Calling Bull: Data Literacy and Information Science


Our world is rife with misinformation. This course is designed to hone digital citizenship skills. It is about "calling bullshit": spotting, dissecting, and publicly refuting false claims and inferences based on quantitative, statistical, and computational analysis of data. Students explore case studies in policy and science and dissect the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of bullshit propagation. Examples include election misinformation, interpreting health risk, facial recognition algorithms, and science communication. Students practice visualizing data; interpreting scientific claims; and spotting misinformation, fake news, causal fallacies, and statistical traps. In doing so, the course offers an introduction to programming with R for data analysis and visualization.

Modes of Inquiry

Quantitative and Formal Reasoning [QF], Scientific Reasoning [SR]

Writing Credit

No writing credit

Departmental Course Attributes - Major/Minor Requirements

(DCS: Critical Digital St.), (DCS: Praxis)

INDS Program Relationship

IDDC - DCA Program