Charles Wheelan

Charles Wheelan


Born
in The United States
January 01, 1966

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Charles Wheelan is a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College. He joined the Dartmouth faculty fulltime in June of 2012.

Wheelan’s most recent book, Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, was released by W.W. Norton in January of 2013. Three weeks later, it reached the New York Times bestseller list for hardback nonfiction. The San Francisco Chronicle called it a “brilliant, funny new book.” The New York Times described Wheelan as “the Dave Barry of the coin-flipping set.”

From 2004 to 2012, Wheelan was a senior lecturer in public policy at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He taught several courses on understanding the policy process for Master’s students. F
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“When I applied to graduate school many years ago, I wrote an essay expressing my puzzlement at how a country that could put a man on the moon could still have people sleeping on the streets. Part of that problem is political will; we could take a lot of people off the streets tomorrow if we made it a national priority. But I have also come to realize that NASA had it easy. Rockets conform to the unchanging laws of physics. We know where the moon will be at a given time; we know precisely how fast a spacecraft will enter or exist the earth's orbit. If we get the equations right, the rocket will land where it is supposed to--always. Human beings are more complex than that. A recovering drug addict does not behave as predictably as a rocket in orbit. We don't have a formula for persuading a sixteen-year-old not to drop out of school. But we do have a powerful tool: We know that people seek to make themselves better off, however they may define that. Our best hope for improving the human condition is to understand why we act the way we do and then plan accordingly. Programs, organizations, and systems work better when they get the incentives right. It is like rowing downstream.”
Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science

“A market economy is to economics what democracy is to government: a decent, if flawed, choice among many bad alternatives.”
Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science

“It’s easy to lie with statistics, but it’s hard to tell the truth without them.”
Charles Wheelan, Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

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