Data is the plural form of datum, a noun that refers broadly to “an item of (chiefly numerical) information, esp. one obtained by scientific work, a number of which are typically collected together for reference, analysis, or calculation” (OED Online 2021, “datum”). Data is also widely used in the context of computing to designate “quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, considered collectively. Also (in non-technical contexts): information in digital form” (OED Online 2021, “data”). In these two uses of data, we find a cluster of entangled connotations arising from the intersections of scientific work, quantification, and computation, which shape the meaning of this term for the field of medical and health humanities.

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