We now live in a world where familiar assertions like “the nation needs accurate statistics to produce workable public policy” carry little weight. What does carry weight is this question: “Whose country is it?”
Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor in Columbia University’s public policy school. Prewitt has also served as the president of the Social Science Research Council, senior vice-president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and the director of the US Census Bureau (1998–2001). He now serves as the Advisory Committee chair of DBASSE, the social science division of the National Academies of Sciences; as president of the American Academy of Social & Political Science; and as a NORC Trustee at the University of Chicago. He is the author of What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Effort to Classify Americans (Princeton, 2013).