Thomas LumleyProfessor of Biostatistics, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Statistics in the media: learning and teaching
Statistical misinterpretations in the mass media are important for their impact on public knowledge, but they are also informative as to what topics journalists and readers understand or don't understand. StatsChat (statschat.org.nz) is the blog of the University of Auckland Department of Statistics, centered around statistics in the media. The blog was started in 2013, aiming to raise the public profile of the department and to provide useful examples for statistics teachers. Somewhat unexpectedly, journalists have also become an important audience. I had expected the main topics to be uncertainty and confounding; these do come up, but in fact the use of appropriate denominators has been the most important statistical issue. Because I work in medical statistics, I have also written quite a few posts about the over-interpretation of biomedical and health research in the news, and whether this is attributable to reporters or to researchers and their public relations offices (it’s a mixture). These posts pursue the statistician’s role of being precise about what questions are actually being asked and answered using the data. In this presentation, I will explore what statistics in the media says about public understanding of statistics and science, and what the success of the blog says about interest in these topics.
Dr Walter J. RadermacherDepartment of Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany
Munich chair ISI Advisory Board on Ethics
President Federation of European National Statistical Societies (FENStatS)
Professional Ethics and Statistical Education
Good statistics is more than sound methodology and modern technology. For statistical information to be of high quality and 'fit for purpose', there needs to be a common language and sufficient literacy for both, statisticians and users, and not least an ethical foundation of professional values. Statisticians work within a variety of economic, cultural, legal and political settings, each of which influences the emphasis and focus of statistical inquiry. They also work within one of several different branches of their discipline, each involving its own techniques and procedures and, possibly, its own ethical approach. This makes it all the more important to provide statisticians with an ethical compass to help them perform their work in a reasonable way. The aim of the ISI Declaration on Professional Ethics is to enable the statistician's individual ethical judgments and decisions to be informed by shared values and experience, rather than by rigid rules imposed by the profession. Shared professional values of this Declaration are Respect, Professionalism, Truthfulness and Integrity.
Sir David SpiegelhalterFellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England
The Joy of Data: Communicating the Importance and Excitement of Statistics
The pandemic has demonstrated how important data becomes at a time of crisis. But good data is essential whenever we are faced we complex questions about what is going on in society. I will tell some stories from experience, from investigating whether a serial murderer could have been caught earlier, to measuring sexual behaviour and communicating about Covid, to show that statistical and data science are vital skills in the modern world.
Gabriel FrontonsCoordinador de Ministerio de la Producción de la Provincia de Santa Fe (Coordinator of the Ministry of Production of Santa Fe), Argentina – en licencia (on leave)
Director de IPEC, Intituto Provicial de Estadística y Censos (Director of IPEC, Provincial Institute of Statistics and Censuses), Argentina
El papel de la educación estadística, la alfabetización y la investigación para el IPEC
En la moderna sociedad del dato y de la información la educación estadística posee un rol central en todos los niveles del sistema educativo. La capacidad de interactuar de manera correcta con datos confiables resulta crucial para el desempeño de las personas en el complejo entorno social, económico, político e institucional en el cual se desenvuelven. Para IPEC la alfabetización estadística posee un rol relevante al promover el acceso, la lectura y la utilización de los datos producidos por los organismos oficiales de estadística, y también, al propiciar la responsabilidad ciudadana al momento de participar en los operativos estadísticos como respondientes. Para la enseñanza de la estadística se considera de interés y utilidad lograr la activa participación de estudiantes en la identificación y resolución de problemas reales en el marco del desarrollo de proyectos de investigación que involucren aspectos estadísticos y análisis de datos.
Marcos Nascimento MagalhãesAssociate Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Invite your students' brains to come to the classroom too
The understanding of the basic ideas of Statistics by society is an important element for citizenship and, in this sense, the school plays a central role. Learning at different school levels depends on the full involvement of students in classroom activities, which remains an important challenge to be faced. In particular, this challenge is present in the teaching of Statistics content by the Mathematics teacher in basic education and also in basic Statistics courses in the various university careers. Although grade levels have different contexts, there are similar initiatives that teachers can develop to seek effective student engagement. In this presentation, we discuss some recommendations from the specialized literature and describe initiatives that have been developed in disciplines under my responsibility. So far, we've used activities to try to connect students' brains with the classroom environment. Would anyone prefer to change that and bet on the wide availability of the “brainphone”?
Convide o cérebro dos seus estudantes para também vir à sala de aulaA compreensão das ideias básicas da Estatística pela sociedade é um elemento importante para a cidadania e, nesse sentido, a escola desempenha um papel central. A aprendizagem nos diferentes níveis escolares depende do pleno envolvimento dos alunos nas atividades em sala de aula, o que continua sendo um importante desafio a ser enfrentado. Em particular, esse desafio está presente no ensino de conteúdos de Estatística pelo professor de Matemática na educação básica e também nos cursos básicos de Estatística nas diversas carreiras universitárias. Embora os níveis de ensino tenham contextos diferentes, existem iniciativas semelhantes que os professores podem desenvolver para buscar o envolvimento efetivo dos alunos. Nesta apresentação, discutimos algumas recomendações da literatura especializada e descrevemos iniciativas que vêm sendo desenvolvidas em disciplinas sob minha responsabilidade. Até agora, usamos atividades para tentar conectar o cérebro dos alunos com o ambiente da sala de aula. Será que alguém prefere mudar isso e apostar numa ampla disponibilidade do “cérebrofone”?
Steve MacFeelyWorld Health Organization (WHO), Division for Data and Analytics
Life, the universe, and everything: a discussion about the changing nature of data, its sources, its uses and what this might mean for statistics
Data, the single word that defines our age. Today, data have assumed a new importance for economies and societies. They are at the heart of almost every activity, a ubiquitous globalized resource, easily shared, duplicated, traded and exchanged. Data transcend borders, challenge national sovereignty and are increasingly being thought of as a new form of capital. Data are used for the development of products and services that generate value, and are key building blocks of communications, government, social media, the cloud, blockchain, the internet of things and crypto-currencies.