How Data Happened

A sweeping history of data and its technical, political, and ethical impact on our world.  Co-authored with Chris Wiggins, Columbia and Chief Data Scientist, NY Times 

Now in Paperback

"fascinating" — Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

Top Books of 2023—The New Yorker

Top 10 Science Books of Spring 2023—Publishers Weekly

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"Perhaps the most impressive feat Wiggins and Jones pull off in the book as they continue to chart data’s evolution throughout the 20th century and the present day is dismantling the idea that there is something inevitable about the way technology progresses." -- Bryan Gardiner, MIT Technology Review

"Trenchant and successfully illuminates the contingency of data’s privileged place in modern decision-making. Incisive and thoroughly researched, this one's a winner." —Publishers Weekly

"This is the first comprehensive look at the history of data and how power has played a critical role in shaping the history. It’s a must read for any data scientist about how we got here and what we need to do to ensure that data works for everyone." —DJ Patil, former U.S. Chief Data Scientist

"In a tour de force, Wiggins and Jones put data in context so that we can see the values, politics, and controversies that shape our present reality. This book is truly a semester-long class bottled into a narrative fit for vacation." —danah boyd

"Sometimes the best way to understand the present and prepare for the future is to look to the past. This insight is at the core of How Data Happened, an ambitious and thoughtful work … that will reshape how you will see the relationship between data and society." —Matthew J. Salganik

"Ambitious and bold.… A must-read for everyone interested in how data is changing our lives." —Gina Neff

"An essential, authoritative history of the increasing power of data, how new capabilities have transformed society, and what we must do to ensure that today’s technology reflects our norms and values." —Renee DiResta

"An informative dive into the history of statistics and data, providing context for the debate over information and who controls it." —Kirkus Reviews

Forthcoming in  Brazilian Portuguese (Alta Books), Korean (CMass21 Publishing Co.); Simplified Mandarin (Ginkgo Book Co.); Traditional Mandarin (The Commercial Press); Turkish (Serenad Publishing), Polish (Helion); Vietnamese (Times Science and Education Publishing)