STATS is a non-profit organization created in 1994 “to correct scientific misinformation in the media and in public policy resulting from bad science, politics, or a simple lack of information or knowledge; and to act as a resource for journalists and policy makers on major scientific issues and controversies.” The organization has been affiliated with George Mason University since 2004.
The staff of STATS publish in the media, write articles and blog posts, and give lectures. Some of the most recent articles written by STATS staff include:
- “The Trouble With Talk Therapy,” STATS Fellow Maia Szalavitz on TIME Healthland (November 27, 2012)
- “Gattaca Alert? Or Should We Welcome the New Age of Eugenics?,” STATS Senior Fellow Jon Entine on Forbes.com (November 26, 2012)
- “Math Pain: It’s Possibly Not Even In Your Head,” Rebecca Goldin, Ph.D. (November 20, 2012)
- “The Sugar Wars: Science’s Fierce, Geeky Debate Over Soda,” Trevor Butterworth (October 8, 2012)
I found the November 6th blog post particularly interesting. “The Redskins versus the Quants” discusses a Chronicle of Higher Education blog argument that television pundits who predict presidential elections will come to be held in the same regard as dubious presidential “predictors” such as the Washington Redskins last home game. Individuals instead will look to predictions from models using “Big Data,” like the one used by Sam Wang at Princeton.
In addition to information about the STATS staff activities, the STATS page has explanations of statistical concepts and links to other resources. Some of the statistical concepts explained are “margin of error,” “percentages,” and “causation vs. correlation.” Resource links include those for general reference tools, international statistics, and medical resources. One of the general reference tools is “Statistics Every Writer Should Know.” This source begins with information about mean, median, and percent.