Should there be a data science equivalent of the Hippocratic oath?

Yes

I’m going to follow up with a couple of book reviews, but I think the following taken from Cathy O’Neil’s brilliant Weapons of Math Destruction deserves sharing widely.

I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations.

Though I will use models to estimate value, I will not be overly impressed by mathematics.

I will never sacrifice reality for elegance without explaining why I have done so.

Nor will I give the people who use my model false comfort about its accuracy. Instead, I will make explicit its assumptions and oversights.

I understand that my work may have enormous effects on society and the economy, many of them beyond my comprehension.

Derman & Willmott (2008)

It’s not perfect, but it’s a good place to start

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