Science Needs Better Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis must find ways to expose and counterbalance all the many factors that can lead to falsely positive results — among them human nature and the effects of industry money.

A respected psychology journal's decision to accept a research report that claims to show the existence of extrasensory perception has inflamed one of the longest-running debates in science. Some statisticians have argued that the standard technique used to analyze data in much of social science and medicine overstates many study findings — often by a lot. The literature is littered with positive findings that do not pan out: "effective" therapies that are no better than a placebo; slight biases that do not affect behavior; brain-imaging correlations that are meaningless. ...Statistical analysis must find ways to expose and counterbalance all the many factors that can lead to falsely positive results — among them human nature...and industry money.

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

Many governments do not report, or misreport, the numbers of refugees who enter their country.

David McNew/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Conflict, violence, persecution and human rights violations led to a record high of 70.8 million people being displaced by the end of 2018.

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Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
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Bernie Sanders' student debt plan bails out the rich

Bernie Sanders reveals an even bigger plan than Elizabeth Warren, but does it go too far?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bernie Sanders has released a plan to forgive all the student debt in the country.
  • It is even larger than the plan Elizabeth Warren put forward two months ago.
  • The plan has drawn criticism for forgiving the debt of both the poor and those well off enough to pay their own debt.
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