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.

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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