Statistics need Stories to give them meaning. Stories need Statistics to give them credibility. Every Thursday John Bailer, Richard Campbell and Rosemary Pennington get together with a new, interesting guest to bring you the Statistics behind the Stories and the Stories behind the Statistics.
Wealth Inequality Escalation | Stats + Stories Episode 204
The issue of income inequality is one Americans continually wrestle with the COVID 19 pandemic bringing to light how housing, health, and general wellbeing are impacted by the unequal distribution of wealth. Income inequality in the United States is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Joseph Gastwirth.
Dr. Gastwirth is a Professor of Statistics and Economics at George Washington University. Over the course of his career he has written over 300 peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in the Annals of Statistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Econometrica, Review of Economics and Statistics, Statistical Science, Annals of Human Genetics, Human Heredity, Jurimetrics and Statistics and Public Policy. His research has covered a variety of topics in statistical methodology and applications. Of special note are: his early work on order and non-parametric statistics, his research on estimating measures of economic inequality, fairness and discrimination and on the role of statistical evidence in jury discriminations, equal employment and other types of legal cases. The American Statistical Association awarded him Noether Award for his contributions to nonparametric statistics in 2012 and the Karl E. Peace Award for outstanding statistical contributions for the betterment of society in 2019.
The Ocean Health Index | Stats + Stories Episode 203
The health of the world's oceans is a growing concern but measuring ocean health is a complicated undertaking. Some people studying the issue focus on pollution, while others look at the health of corals or marine mammals. One project attempts to take a comprehensive picture of the health of oceans in order to provide information about Oceanic vital signs to stakeholders. The Ocean Health Index is the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guests Lelys Bravo and Julia Stewart Lowndes.
Lelys Bravo is a Statistics Professor at the Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before that she was a member of the Science Steering Committee of the Biospherical Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle project from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) and Lead author of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment report. Her research interests include spatial and temporal analysis of environmental data, including the development of risk assessment methods to evaluate the impacts of natural hazards under potential climate change.
Julia Stewart Lowndes is a marine ecologist, data scientist, and Senior Fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California Santa Barbara. She champions kinder, better science in less time through open data science and teamwork. As a marine data scientist, Mozilla Fellow, and Senior Fellow at NCEAS, she has 7+ years designing and leading programs to empower science teams with skillsets and mindsets for reproducible research, empowering researchers with existing open tools and communities. She has been building communities of practice in this space since 2013 with the Ocean Health Index.
The Sports Statistic of the Year | Stats + Stories Episode 202
The COVID pandemic put many Sports on hold during 2020, but with the industry roaring back with the 2021 Summer Olympics as well as World Cup qualifier matches sports, and sports statistics, are back. Which is the perfect timing for the unveiling of the Royal Statistical Society's 2021 Sports Statistic of the Year.
Robert Mastrodomenico is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society as well as owner and founder of his statistical consulting company Global Sports Statistics. He is also the Chair of RSS’ Statisticians for Society initiative since its inception in 2017. He is also an RSS Statistical Ambassador, which involves regular work with the media in assisting with their reporting of statistical issues.
Making Newsrooms More Data Friendly | Stats + Stories Episode 201 (from the RSS 2021 Conference)
Newsrooms all over the world are embracing data journalism – looking for unique and thoughtful ways to use data to tell stories about their communities. But is every newsroom handling data as carefully as it should be? What safeguards are in place ensure journalists are using data in ethical ways? That’s the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Irineo Cabreros.
Cabreros (@cabrerosic) is an associate statistician at the RAND Corporation. At RAND he has worked on projects in health care, education, fairness and equity, military personnel, substance use, incarceration, and insurance industries. He is a passionate science communicator who has written for Slate Magazine as an AAAS Mass Media Fellow. His research interests include causal inference, algorithmic equity, experimental design, survey sampling, high-dimensional statistics, latent variable modeling, and statistical genetics with his focuses areas including Labor Markets, Modeling and Simulation, Racial Equity and Survey Research Methodology among many others.
#MemeMedianMode Contest Winner! | Stats + Stories Episode 200
At Stats+Stories we're lucky to have listeners who put up with John's bad jokes and our general shenanigans. In fact, you've listened to 199 discussions of the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics. To mark our 100th episode we asked you to submit statistical headlines and a haiku won. For 200 we took to Twitter using the #MemeMedianMode hashtag and this time those that rose to the top actually memes. Today we're talking to the creators of our top two.
Nynke Krol (@krol_nynke) is a statistician at statistics Netherlands who also submitted a stance mean that caused both, John and Rosemary, to actually laughed out loud when they saw her take on data normality.
Eric Daza (@ericjdaza) is a data scientist statistician who focuses on digital health, he submitted several means to our mean, median, mode contest, including one that made me flashback to my first graduate class in research methods, on causation/correlation.
Stats on the Timeline | Stats + Stories Episode 199.75 (from the RSS 2021 Conference)
Twitter can be cacophonous at times – one a given day, serious analysis of the situation in Afghanistan, news stories about climate change, and Parry Gripp’s Music for Cat Piano Volume 1 can all compete for a user’s attention. This has only become more clear during the COVID 19 pandemic as it seems almost everyone is tweeting about the disease, with varying levels of expertise. However, there have been some experts who’ve been able to tweet through the noise, we’ll talk with one of them on this Royal Statistical Society edition of Stats and Stories with guest Natalie E. Dean.
Dr. Natalie Dean (@nataliexdean) is an assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. She received her PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University, and previously worked as a consultant for the WHO’s HIV Department and as faculty at the University of Florida. Her primary research area is infectious disease epidemiology and study design, with a focus on developing innovative trial and observational study designs for evaluating vaccines during public health emergencies. She has previously worked on Ebola, Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and now COVID-19. She received the 2020 Provost Excellent Award for Assistant Professors at the University of Florida. In addition to research, she has been active in public engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is verified on Twitter with over 100k followers and has authored pieces in outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and Stat News.
Best way to learn about and appreciate quantitative thinking
I found this podcast while enrolled in a beginning quantitative methods course. It has been so incredibly helpful (and inspiring!) to hear the interviews from statisticians and researchers who work with data, and put it into the context of the stories they're trying to understand. The interviews are interesting and entertaining, and helpfully put all of these concepts that I've been abstractly learning about into practical realities.
I just listened to Episode 48: "Were the cancer clusters real? Statistical support for evaluating public policy" with guest David Banks - interesting topic & knowledgable guest. This episode highlighted how Statisticians can help make the world a better place when they work together with Journalists/the Media. I'm still a bit crushed by what I learned about Gregor Mendel, though.
Statistics affect our lives in so many ways but most people are not aware of it. Understanding how statistics relate to my everyday life makes this a really interesting podcast! Give it a listen!