Francis Galton pioneered scientific advances in many fields – but also founded the racist pseudoscience of eugenics

Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to improve the species. Put into practice, Galton's concept proved discriminatory, damaging, even deadly.

Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~9 min

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

West Virginia turned to its local pharmacies for help. Its program's success holds some important lessons for other states and the rest of the vaccine rollout.

Tinglong Dai, Associate Professor of Operations Management & Business Analytics, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing • conversation
Jan. 14, 2021 ~6 min

What is a margin of error? This statistical tool can help you understand vaccine trials and political polling

Whether you are predicting the outcome of an election or studying how effective a new drug is, there will always be some uncertainty. A margin of error is how statisticians measure that uncertainty.

Ofer Harel, Professor of Statistics, University of Connecticut • conversation
Jan. 6, 2021 ~5 min

International Statistic of the Year: Race for a COVID-19 vaccine

The coronavirus vaccine was developed faster than any vaccine in history. It took just 332 days from the first sequencing of the virus genome to the first vaccines given to the public.

Liberty Vittert, Professor of the Practice of Data Science, Washington University in St Louis • conversation
Dec. 18, 2020 ~5 min

What children can teach governments about making graphs

There have been some shockingly bad graphs circulating during the pandemic.

Maria Dunbar, PhD candidate in Statistics, University of Zürich • conversation
Dec. 18, 2020 ~9 min

279,700 extra deaths in the US so far in this pandemic year

Health statisticians keep careful tabs on how many people die every week. Based on what's happened in past years, they know what to expect – but 2020 death counts are surging beyond predictions.

Ronald D. Fricker Jr., Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech • conversation
Oct. 14, 2020 ~7 min

Up to 204,691 extra deaths in the US so far in this pandemic year

Health statisticians keep careful tabs on how many people die every week. Based on what's happened in past years, they know what to expect – but 2020 death counts are surging beyond predictions.

Ronald D. Fricker Jr., Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech • conversation
Aug. 13, 2020 ~5 min

Random testing in Indiana shows COVID-19 is 6 times deadlier than flu, and 2.8% of the state has been infected

A team of researchers from Indiana University performed random testing for SARS-CoV-2 across the state. The results offer some of the most accurate data to date about important aspects of the virus.

Nir Menachemi, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Indiana University • conversation
July 21, 2020 ~11 min

How deadly is COVID-19? A biostatistician explores the question

The COVID-19 death toll in the US is now over 130,000. What do 130,000 fatalities look like? A biostatistician provides some perspective.

Ron Fricker, Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech • conversation
July 10, 2020 ~9 min

Coronavirus: our study suggests more people have had it than previously estimated

Many more people have been infected with coronavirus than the statistics suggest.

Scott McLachlan, Postdoctoral Researcher in Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London • conversation
June 25, 2020 ~7 min

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