Median Watch

Eyes on statistics

Mistakes, I’ve made a few, but then again, not too few to mention

Statistics can be hard Here’s a great quote about working with statistics from the fantastic statistician David Spiegelhalter: “I am often asked why people tend to find probability a difficult and unintuitive idea, and I reply that, after forty years researching and teaching in this area, I have finally concluded that it is because probability really is a difficult and unintuitive idea” (Spiegelhalter 2019). Someone who attended my one-day statistics refresher course expressed disappointment in their evaluation that after a day’s training they did not now feel like an expert.

A 2-for-1 deal for female researchers

The gender disparity in research funding. There is a large gender disparity in the number of research grants awarded in Australia. For years men have won more funding than women. This disparity in success is driven by a disparity in applications, as women apply far less often. Success rates for men and women are relatively close, so policies to reduce the gender disparity in funding should focus on encouraging more applications from women.

Why start blogging now?

The title for this blog is a homage the ABC TV show “Media Watch” which critiques the Australian media and is never short of content. Similarly there’s a lot wrong in the way people use statistics, so this blog is mainly about the use and misuse of statistics. I’ve got a post coming on how my research has been misused by those trying to deny the climate crisis. I also want to write about some statistical mistakes I’ve made in published papers, which I realise may just help the climate change propagandists to undermine my credibility.