Numbers and statistics can easily confuse - sometimes deliberately, often by accident. Averages can be chosen to prove a point, targets selected so they can't be missed, random clusters of events given a significance they don't deserve, and corrections for confounding either ignored or used to draw conclusions where none are justified. Nigel Hawkes provides examples of all these statistical tricks and explains how to avoid being taken in by them
Speakers: Nigel Hawkes (Straight Statistics)
Nigel Hawkes is a science and health journalist. He graduated from Oxford with a degree in metallurgy in 1966, and has written about science, health and international affairs in a career that began on the staff of Nature and included long spells at The Observer (1972-90) and The Times (1990-2008). He retired from The Times in 2008 after eight years as Health Editor, and is now a columnist for British Medical Journal and Director of a new pressure group, Straight Statistics, which campaigns for the honest presentation and use of statistical data by government, media, and others.
He has written a number of books, including Structures, a book about building and civil engineering, and more than 40 science and technology titles for children and teenagers. He was appointed CBE in 1998 for services to the newspaper industry and science, and was the Medical Journalists Association health writer of the year in 2007.
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