Full topic list
This is a session of Topic 7: Statistics education and the wider society

(Thursday 15th, 11:00-12:30)

Statistics for biology and the health sciences



Statistics is relevant and important to many disciplines, but students often dislike it, under-perform in it or simply avoid attending courses that have a statistical component. The reasons for this are numerous and may vary from students entering higher education possessing only rudimentary maths skills, to being numerophobic, having a lack of confidence in their own ability or by seeing statistics as irrelevant to their chosen field of study.

Most areas of biology and the health sciences now contain a compulsory quantitative element and require that their students graduate with basic statistical analysis skills and at least an appreciation of the power of statistical methods. To this end it is imperative to focus on encouraging collaborative partnerships within institutions in establishing common goals between statistics lecturers and non-statisticians from other departments in developing statistical components of courses and modules.

Taking a synergistic approach to course development where more basic examples are presented, statistical concepts are contextualized and emphasis is weighted on interpretation of data leads to the students’ realization of the relevance and impact that statistics may have on quantitative research, or indeed, on everyday situations that they are likely to encounter working in a health care or laboratory environment.


PaperTitlePresenter(s) / Author(s)
7E1Promoting autonomous learning in statistics among undergraduate medical studentsMargaret MacDougall (United Kingdom)
7E2A model to optimise statistical independence and critical thinking amongst researchers in a diverse disciplinary settingDiana Battistutta (Australia)
Helen Johnson (Australia)
Cameron Hurst (Australia)
Dimitrios Vagenas (Australia)
Ross Young (Australia)
7E3Statistics for the biological and environmental sciences: improving service teaching for postgraduatesRuth Allen (United Kingdom)
Andrew Folkard (United Kingdom)
Gillian Lancaster (United Kingdom)
Bev Abram (United Kingdom)