I am Rebecca Goldin, mathematician and the director of STATS.org, here to talk about statistics in the media!
Hi Reddit! My name is Rebecca Goldin, and I am a Professor of Mathematics at George Mason University in Virginia. I direct STATS.org, which helps journalists understand statistical results from the sciences and social sciences, as well as other mathematical topics that come up in their work. You can find some of my posts for STATS.org here.
We get asked a lot of questions by journalists, including: what are the different kinds of errors in polls? What is the difference between "statistical significance" and "clinical significance"? Why is causality so hard to determine?
Ask me anything about how statistics and mathematics are used (or abused) in the media you consume, or what kind of questions journalists deal with that statistics can help clarify! I'll start answering at noon EST, and I'll be around for 2 hours to answer questions.
Thanks to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) for setting up this AMA.
Edit, 2 p.m.: Thanks, everyone, for all the great questions! My time is up, but you can find my articles at STATS.org (linked above) or my Twitter, and I'll be at the National Math Festival on April 22, 2017 in Washington, DC with dozens of other mathematicians and math organizations from around the US. If you want to know more about who'll be there and what kind of free events are happening for all ages, you can check out the website. I hope to see some of you in April!
Here are some articles (a few mentioned below, some just interesting), for those that want to dig deeper:
New today from STATS.org: What the 2016 Presidential Election taught us about polling, predictions
I recently commented in the Wall Street Journal for an article on online hotel reviews and the bottom line (paywall)
For fun, some spurious correlations to explore.
Misguided science with fMRI (measuring brain activity):