Author: Andrew

The competing narratives of scientific revolution

Back when we were reading Karl Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery and Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, who would’ve thought that we’d be living through a scientific revolution ourselves? Scientific revolutions occur on all scales, but here let’s talk about some of the biggies: 1850-1950: Darwinian revolution in biology, changed how we think about […]

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Let’s get hysterical

Following up on our discussion of hysteresis in the scientific community, Nick Brown points us to this article from 2014, “Excellence by Nonsense: The Competition for Publications in Modern Science,” by Mathias Binswanger, who writes: To ensure the efficient use of scarce funds, the government forces universities and professors, together with their academic staff, to […]

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Let’s get hysterical

Following up on our discussion of hysteresis in the scientific community, Nick Brown points us to this article this article from 2014, “Excellence by Nonsense: The Competition for Publications in Modern Science,” by Mathias Binswanger, who writes: To ensure the efficient use of scarce funds, the government forces universities and professors, together with their academic […]

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The fallacy of the excluded middle — statistical philosophy edition

I happened to come across this post from 2012 and noticed a point I’d like to share again. I was discussing an article by David Cox and Deborah Mayo, in which Cox wrote: [Bayesians’] conceptual theories are trying to do two entirely different things. One is trying to extract information from the data, while the […]

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The fallacy of the excluded middle — statistical philosophy edition

I happened to come across this post from 2012 and noticed a point I’d like to share again. I was discussing an article by David Cox and Deborah Mayo, in which Cox wrote: [Bayesians’] conceptual theories are trying to do two entirely different things. One is trying to extract information from the data, while the […]

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No, I don’t think it’s the file drawer effect

Someone named Andrew Certain writes: I’ve been reading your blog since your appearance on Econtalk . . . explaining the ways in which statistics are misused/misinterpreted in low-sample/high-noise studies. . . . I recently came across a meta-analysis on stereotype threat [a reanalysis by Emil Kirkegaard] by that identified a clear relationship between smaller sample […]

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No, I don’t think it’s the file drawer effect

Someone named Andrew Certain writes: I’ve been reading your blog since your appearance on Econtalk . . . explaining the ways in which statistics are misused/misinterpreted in low-sample/high-noise studies. . . . I recently came across a meta-analysis on stereotype threat [a reanalysis by Emil Kirkegaard] by that identified a clear relationship between smaller sample […]

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Cool tennis-tracking app

Swupnil Sahai writes that he’s developed Swing, “the best app for tracking all of your tennis stats, and maybe we’ll expand to other sports in the future.” According to Swupnil, the app runs on Apple Watch making predictions in real time. I hope in the future they’ll incorporate some hierarchical modeling to deal with sparse-data […]

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Cool tennis-tracking app

Swupnil Sahai writes that he’s developed Swing, “the best app for tracking all of your tennis stats, and maybe we’ll expand to other sports in the future.” According to Swupnil, the app runs on Apple Watch making predictions in real time. I hope in the future they’ll incorporate some hierarchical modeling to deal with sparse-data […]

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It should be ok to just publish the data.

Gur Huberman asked for my reaction to a recent manuscript, Are CEOs Different? Characteristics of Top Managers, by Steven Kaplan and Morten Sorensen. The paper begins: We use a dataset of over 2,600 executive assessments to study thirty individual characteristics of candidates for top executive positions – CEO, CFO, COO and others. We classify the […]

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It should be ok to just publish the data.

Gur Huberman asked for my reaction to a recent manuscript, Are CEOs Different? Characteristics of Top Managers, by Steven Kaplan and Morten Sorensen. The paper begins: We use a dataset of over 2,600 executive assessments to study thirty individual characteristics of candidates for top executive positions – CEO, CFO, COO and others. We classify the […]

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It was the weeds that bothered him.

Bill Jefferys points to this news article by Denise Grady. Bill noticed the following bit, “In male rats, the studies linked tumors in the heart to high exposure to radiation from the phones. But that problem did not occur in female rats, or any mice,” and asked: ​Forking paths, much? My reply: The summary of […]

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It was the weeds that bothered him.

Bill Jefferys points to this news article by Denise Grady. Bill noticed the following bit, “In male rats, the studies linked tumors in the heart to high exposure to radiation from the phones. But that problem did not occur in female rats, or any mice,” and asked: ​Forking paths, much? My reply: The summary of […]

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How feminism has made me a better scientist

Feminism is not a branch of science. It is not a set of testable propositions about the observable world, nor is it any single research method. From my own perspective, feminism is a political movement associated with successes such as votes for women, setbacks such as the failed Equal Rights Amendment, and continuing struggles in […]

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How feminism has made me a better scientist

Feminism is not a branch of science. It is not a set of testable propositions about the observable world, nor is it any single research method. From my own perspective, feminism is a political movement associated with successes such as votes for women, setbacks such as the failed Equal Rights Amendment, and continuing struggles in […]

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“Usefully skeptical science journalism”

Dean Eckles writes: I like this Wired piece on the challenges of learning about how technologies are affecting us and children. The journalist introducing a nice analogy (that he had in mind before talking with me — I’m briefly quoted) between the challenges in nutrition (and observational epidemiology more generally) and in studying “addictive” technologies. […]

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“Usefully skeptical science journalism”

Dean Eckles writes: I like this Wired piece on the challenges of learning about how technologies are affecting us and children. The journalist introducing a nice analogy (that he had in mind before talking with me — I’m briefly quoted) between the challenges in nutrition (and observational epidemiology more generally) and in studying “addictive” technologies. […]

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Discussion of the value of a mathematical model for the dissemination of propaganda

A couple people pointed me to this article, “How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policy Makers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks,” by James Weatherall, Cailin O’Connor, and Justin Bruner, also featured in this news article. Their paper begins: In their recent book Merchants of Doubt [New York:Bloomsbury 2010], Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe […]

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