Announcement

Phil 6334 Visitor: S. Stanley Young, “Statistics and Scientific Integrity”

We are pleased to announce our guest speaker at Thursday’s seminar (April 24, 2014): Statistics and Scientific Integrity”:

YoungPhoto2008S. Stanley Young, PhD 
Assistant Director for Bioinformatics
National Institute of Statistical Sciences
Research Triangle Park, NC

Author of Resampling-Based Multiple Testing, Westfall and Young (1993) Wiley.


0471557617

 

 

 

The main readings for the discussion are:

 

Categories: Announcement, evidence-based policy, Phil6334, science communication, selection effects, Statistical fraudbusting, Statistics | 1 Comment

Self-referential blogpost (conditionally accepted*)

This is a blogpost on a talk (by Jeremy Fox) on blogging that will be live tweeted here at Virginia Tech on Monday April 7, and the moment I post this blog on “Blogging as a Mode of Scientific Communication” it will be tweeted. Live.

Jeremy’s upcoming talk on blogging will be live-tweeted by @FisheriesBlog, 1 pm EDT Apr. 7

Posted on April 3, 2014 by Jeremy Fox

If you like to follow live tweets of talks, you’re in luck: my upcoming Virginia Tech talk on blogging will be live tweeted by Brandon Peoples, a grad student there who co-authors The Fisheries Blog. Follow @FisheriesBlog at 1 pm US Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, April 7 for the live tweets.

Jeremy Fox’s excellent blog, “Dynamic Ecology,” often discusses matters statistical from a perspective in sync with error statistics.

I’ve never been invited to talk about blogging or even to blog about blogging, maybe this is a new trend. I look forward to meeting him (live!).

va-tech-poster

* Posts that don’t directly pertain to philosophy of science/statistics are placed under “rejected posts” but since this is a metablogpost on a talk on a blog pertaining to statistics it has been “conditionally accepted”, unconditionally, i.e., without conditions.

Categories: Announcement, Metablog | Leave a comment

Winner of the March 2014 palindrome contest (rejected post)

caitlin-parkerWinner of the March 2014 Palindrome Contest

Caitlin Parker

Palindrome: 

Able, we’d well aim on. I bet on a note. Binomial? Lewd. Ew, Elba!

The requirement was: A palindrome with Elba plus Binomial with an optional second word: bet. A palindrome that uses both Binomial and bet topped an acceptable palindrome that only uses Binomial.

Short bio: 
Caitlin Parker is a first-year master’s student in the Philosophy department at Virginia Tech. Though her interests are in philosophy of science and statistics, she also has experience doing psychological research.

Statement:
“Thanks for the challenge! Palindromes give us a fun opportunity to practice planning in a setting where each new letter has the power to completely recast one’s previous efforts. Since one has to balance developing a structure with preserving some kind of meaning, it can take forever to get a palindrome to ‘work’ – but it’s incredibly satisfying when it does.”

Choice of Book:
Fisher, Neyman and the Creation of Classical Statistics (E. L. Lehmann 2012, Dordrecht, New York: Springer)

Congratulations Caitlin! With consecutive months now of winners using two words (+ Elba), this bodes well for returning to that more severe challenge.
See April contest (first word: fallacy; optional second word: error).
Categories: Announcement, Palindrome, Rejected Posts | Leave a comment

Cosma Shalizi gets tenure (at last!) (metastat announcement)

ShaliziNews Flash! Congratulations to Cosma Shalizi who announced yesterday that he’d been granted tenure (Statistics, Carnegie Mellon). Cosma is a leading error statistician, a creative polymath and long-time blogger (at Three-Toad sloth). Shalizi wrote an early book review of EGEK (Mayo 1996)* that people still send me from time to time, in case I hadn’t seen it! You can find it on this blog from 2 years ago (posted by Jean Miller). A discussion of a meeting of the minds between Shalizi and Andrew Gelman is here.

*Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge.

Categories: Announcement, Error Statistics, Statistics | Tags: | Leave a comment

Winner of the Febrary 2014 palindrome contest (rejected post)

SamHeadWinner of February 2014 Palindrome Contest
Samuel Dickson

Palindrome:
Rot, Cadet A, I’ve droned! Elba, revile deviant, naïve, deliverable den or deviated actor.

The requirement was: A palindrome with Elba plus deviate with an optional second word: deviant. A palindrome that uses both deviate and deviant tops an acceptable palindrome that only uses deviate.

Bio:
Sam Dickson is a regulatory statistician at U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) with experience in statistical consulting, specializing in design and analysis of biological and genetics/genomics studies.

Statement:
“It’s great to get a  chance to exercise the mind with something other than statistics, though putting words together to make a palindrome is a puzzle very similar to designing an experiment that answers the right question.  Thank you for hosting this contest!”

Choice of book:
Principles of Applied Statistics (D. R. Cox and C. A. Donnelly 2011, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

Congratulations, Sam! I hope that your opting to do two words (plus Elba) means we can go back to the tougher standard for palindromes, but I’d just as soon raise the level of competence for several months more (sticking to one word). 

Categories: Announcement, Palindrome, Rejected Posts, Statistics | Leave a comment

Phil6334 Statistical Snow Sculpture

Statistical Snow Sculpture

Statistical Snow Sculpture

No Seminar. Blizzard.

Categories: Announcement, Phil6334 | Leave a comment

BOSTON COLLOQUIUM FOR PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE: Revisiting the Foundations of Statistics

BOSTON COLLOQUIUM FOR PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

2013–2014
54th Annual Program

Download the 54th Annual Program

REVISITING THE FOUNDATIONS OF STATISTICS IN THE ERA OF BIG DATA: SCALING UP TO MEET THE CHALLENGE

Cosponsored by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Boston University.
Friday, February 21, 2014
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Photonics Center, 9th Floor Colloquium Room (Rm 906)
8 St. Mary’s Street

10 a.m.–noon

  • Computational Challenges in Genomic Medicine
    Jill Mesirov Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Broad Institute
  • Selection, Significance, and Signification: Issues in High Energy Physics
    Kent Staley Philosophy, Saint Louis University

1:30–5:30 p.m.

  • Multi-Resolution Inference: An Engineering (Engineered?) Foundation of Statistical Inference
    Xiao-Li Meng Statistics, Harvard University
  • Is the Philosophy of Probabilism an Obstacle to Statistical Fraud Busting?
    Deborah Mayo Philosophy, Virginia Tech
  • Targeted Learning from Big Data
    Mark van der Laan Biostatistics and Statistics, UC Berkeley

Panel Discussion

Boston Colloquium 2013-2014 (3)

Categories: Announcement, philosophy of science, Philosophy of Statistics, Statistical fraudbusting, Statistics | Leave a comment

Winner of the January 2014 palindrome contest (rejected post)

images-5Winner of the January 2014 Palindrome Context

Karthik Durvasula
Visiting Assistant Professor in Phonology & Phonetics at Michigan State University

Palindrome: Test’s optimal? Agreed! Able to honor? O no! Hot Elba deer gala. MIT-post set.

The requirement was: A palindrome with “optimal” and “Elba”.

BioI’m a Visiting Assistant Professor in Phonology & Phonetics at Michigan State University. My work primarily deals with probing people’s subconscious knowledge of (abstract) sound patterns. Recently, I have been working on auditory illusions that stem from the bias that such subconscious knowledge introduces.

Statement: “Trying to get a palindrome that was at least partially meaningful was fun and challenging. Plus I get an awesome book for my efforts. What more could a guy ask for! I also want to thank Mayo for being excellent about email correspondence, and answering my (sometimes silly) questions tirelessly.”

Book choice: EGEK 1996! :)
[i.e.,Mayo (1996): "Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge"]

CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks so much for your interest!

February contest: Elba plus deviate (deviation)*

New Rule: Using both deviate and deviant tops an acceptable palindrome that only uses deviate (but can earn 1/2 prize voucher for doubling on another month).

Categories: Announcement, Palindrome, Rejected Posts | Leave a comment

Phil6334: “Philosophy of Statistical Inference and Modeling” New Course: Spring 2014: Mayo and Spanos: (Virginia Tech) UPDATE: JAN 21

FURTHER UPDATED: New course for Spring 2014: Thurs 3:30-6:15 (Randolph 209)

first installment 6334 syllabus_SYLLABUS (first) Phil 6334: Philosophy of Statistical Inference and ModelingPicture 216 1mayo

picture-072-1-1

D. Mayo and A. Spanos

Contact: error@vt.edu

This new course, to be jointly taught by Professors D. Mayo (Philosophy) and A. Spanos (Economics) will provide an introductory, in-depth introduction to graduate level research in philosophy of inductive-statistical inference and probabilistic methods of evidence (a branch of formal epistemology). We explore philosophical problems of confirmation and induction, the philosophy and history of frequentist and Bayesian approaches, and key foundational controversies surrounding tools of statistical data analytics, modeling and hypothesis testing in the natural and social sciences, and in evidence-based policy.

We now have some tentative topics and dates:

 

course flyer pic

1. 1/23 Introduction to the Course: 4 waves of controversy in the philosophy of statistics
2. 1/30 How to tell what’s true about statistical inference: Probabilism, performance and probativeness
3. 2/6 Induction and Confirmation: Formal Epistemology
4. 2/13 Induction, falsification, severe tests: Popper and Beyond
5. 2/20 Statistical models and estimation: the Basics
6. 2/27 Fundamentals of significance tests and severe testing
7. 3/6 Five sigma and the Higgs Boson discovery Is it “bad science”?
SPRING BREAK Statistical Exercises While Sunning
 8. 3/20  Fraudbusting and Scapegoating: Replicability and big data: are most scientific results false?
9. 3/27 How can we test the assumptions of statistical models?
All models are false; no methods are objective: Philosophical problems of misspecification testing: Spanos method
10. 4/3 Fundamentals of Statistical Testing: Family Feuds and 70 years of controversy
11. 4/10 Error Statistical Philosophy: Highly Probable vs Highly Probed
Some howlers of testing
12. 4/17 What ever happened to Bayesian Philosophical Foundations? Dutch books etc. Fundamental of Bayesian statistics
13. 4/24 Bayesian-frequentist reconciliations, unifications, and O-Bayesians
14. 5/1 Overview: Answering the critics: Should statistical philosophy be divorced from methodology?
(15. TBA) Topic to be chosen (Resampling statistics and new journal policies? Likelihood principle)

 Interested in attending? E.R.R.O.R.S.* can fund travel (presumably driving) and provide accommodation for Thurs. night in a conference lodge in Blacksburg for a few people through (or part of)  the semester. If interested, write ASAP for details (with a brief description of your interest and background) to error@vt.edu. (Several people asked about long-distance hook-ups: We will try to provide some sessions by Skype, and will put each of the seminar items here (also check the Phil6334 page on this blog). 

A sample of questions we consider*:

  • What makes an inquiry scientific? objective? When are we warranted in generalizing from data?
  • What is the “traditional problem of induction”?  Is it really insoluble?  Does it matter in practice?
  • What is the role of probability in uncertain inference? (to assign degrees of confirmation or belief? to characterize the reliability of test procedures?) 3P’s: Probabilism, performance and probativeness
  • What is probability? Random variables? Estimates? What is the relevance of long-run error probabilities for inductive inference in science?
  • What did Popper really say about severe testing, induction, falsification? Is it time for a new definition of pseudoscience?
  • Confirmation and falsification: Carnap and Popper, paradoxes of confirmation; contemporary formal epistemology
  • What is the current state of play in the “statistical wars” e.g., between frequentists, likelihoodists, and (subjective vs. “non-subjective”) Bayesians?
  • How should one specify and interpret p-values, type I and II errors, confidence levels?  Can one tell the truth (and avoid fallacies) with statistics? Do the “reformers” themselves need reform?
  • Is it unscientific (ad hoc, degenerating) to use the same data both in constructing and testing hypotheses? When and why?
  • Is it possible to test assumptions of statistical models without circularity?
  • Is the new research on “replicability” well-founded, or an erroneous use of screening statistics for long-run performance?
  • Should randomized studies be the “gold standard” for “evidence-based” science and policy?
  • What’s the problem with big data: cherry-picking, data mining, multiple testing
  • The many faces of Bayesian statistics: Can there be uninformative prior probabilities? (No) Principles of indifference over the years
  • Statistical fraudbusting: psychology, economics, evidence-based policy
  • Applied controversies (selected): Higgs experiments, climate modeling, social psychology, econometric modeling, development economic

D. Mayo (books):

How to Tell What’s True About Statistical Inference, (Cambridge, in progress).

Error and the Growth of Experimental KnowledgeChicago: Chicago University Press, 1996. (Winner of 1998 Lakatos Prize).

Acceptable Evidence: Science and Values in Risk Managementco-edited with Rachelle Hollander, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Aris Spanos (books):

Probability Theory and Statistical Inference, Cambridge, 1999.

Statistical Foundations of Econometric Modeling, Cambridge, 1986.

Joint (books): Error and Inference: Recent Exchanges on Experimental Reasoning, Reliability and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science, D. Mayo & A. Spanos (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. [The book includes both papers and exchanges between Mayo and A. Chalmers, A. Musgrave, P. Achinstein, J. Worrall, C. Glymour, A. Spanos, and joint papers with Mayo and Sir David Cox].

Categories: Announcement, Error Statistics, Statistics | 5 Comments

“Philosophy of Statistical Inference and Modeling” New Course: Spring 2014: Mayo and Spanos: (Virginia Tech)

New course for Spring 2014: Thursday 3:30-6:15

picture-072-1-1Phil 6334: Philosophy of Statistical Inference and ModelingPicture 216 1mayo

D. Mayo and A. Spanos

Contact: error@vt.edu

This new course, to be jointly taught by Professors D. Mayo (Philosophy) and A. Spanos (Economics) will provide an introductory, in-depth introduction to graduate level research in philosophy of inductive-statistical inference and probabilistic methods of evidence (a branch of formal epistemology). We explore philosophical problems of confirmation and induction, the philosophy and history of frequentist and Bayesian approaches, and key foundational controversies surrounding tools of statistical data analytics, modeling and hypothesis testing in the natural and social sciences, and in evidence-based policy.

course flyer pic

A sample of questions we consider*:

  • What makes an inquiry scientific? objective? When are we warranted in generalizing from data?
  • What is the “traditional problem of induction”?  Is it really insoluble?  Does it matter in practice?
  • What is the role of probability in uncertain inference? (to assign degrees of confirmation or belief? to characterize the reliability of test procedures?) 3P’s: Probabilism, performance and probativeness
  • What is probability? Random variables? Estimates? What is the relevance of long-run error probabilities for inductive inference in science?
  • What did Popper really say about severe testing, induction, falsification? Is it time for a new definition of pseudoscience?
  • Confirmation and falsification: Carnap and Popper, paradoxes of confirmation; contemporary formal epistemology
  • What is the current state of play in the “statistical wars” e.g., between frequentists, likelihoodists, and (subjective vs. “non-subjective”) Bayesians?
  • How should one specify and interpret p-values, type I and II errors, confidence levels?  Can one tell the truth (and avoid fallacies) with statistics? Do the “reformers” themselves need reform?
  • Is it unscientific (ad hoc, degenerating) to use the same data both in constructing and testing hypotheses? When and why?
  • Is it possible to test assumptions of statistical models without circularity?
  • Is the new research on “replicability” well-founded, or an erroneous use of screening statistics for long-run performance?
  • Should randomized studies be the “gold standard” for “evidence-based” science and policy?
  • What’s the problem with big data: cherry-picking, data mining, multiple testing
  • The many faces of Bayesian statistics: Can there be uninformative prior probabilities? (No) Principles of indifference over the years
  • Statistical fraudbusting: psychology, economics, evidence-based policy
  • Applied controversies (selected): Higgs experiments, climate modeling, social psychology, econometric modeling, development economic

Interested in attending? E.R.R.O.R.S.* can fund travel (presumably driving) and provide lodging for Thurs. night in a conference lodge in Blacksburg for a few people through (or part of)  the semester. Topics will be posted over the next week, but if you might be interested, write ASAP for details (with a brief description of your interest and background) to error@vt.edu. 

*This course will be a brand new version of related seminar we’ve led in the past, so we don’t have the syllabus set yet. We’re going to try something different this time. I’ll be updating in subsequent installments to the blog.

Dates: January 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6, [March 8-16 break], 20, 27; April 3,10, 17, 24; May 1

D. Mayo (books):

How to Tell What’s True About Statistical Inference, (Cambridge, in progress).

Error and the Growth of Experimental KnowledgeChicago: Chicago University Press, 1996. (Winner of 1998 Lakatos Prize).

Acceptable Evidence: Science and Values in Risk Managementco-edited with Rachelle Hollander, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Aris Spanos (books):

Probability Theory and Statistical Inference, Cambridge, 1999.

Statistical Foundations of Econometric Modeling, Cambridge, 1986.

Joint (books): Error and Inference: Recent Exchanges on Experimental Reasoning, Reliability and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science, D. Mayo & A. Spanos (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. [The book includes both papers and exchanges between Mayo and A. Chalmers, A. Musgrave, P. Achinstein, J. Worrall, C. Glymour, A. Spanos, and joint papers with Mayo and Sir David Cox].

Categories: Announcement, Error Statistics, Statistics | 9 Comments

FDA’S New Pharmacovigilance

FDA’s New Generic Drug Labeling Rule

The FDA is proposing an about-face on a controversial issue: to allow (or require? [1]) generic drug companies to alter the label on drugs, whereas they are currently  required to keep the identical label as used by the brand-name company (See earlier post here and here.) While it clearly makes sense to alert the public to newly found side-effects, this change, if adopted, will open generic companies to lawsuits to which they’d been immune (as determined by a 2011 Supreme Court decision).  Whether or not the rule passes, the FDA is ready with a training session for you!  The following is from the notice I received by e-mail: Continue reading

Categories: Announcement, PhilStatLaw, science communication | 4 Comments

Blog Contents: August 2013

IMG_0244August 2013
(8/1) Blogging (flogging?) the SLP: Response to Reply- Xi’an Robert
(8/5) At the JSM: 2013 International Year of Statistics
(8/6) What did Nate Silver just say? Blogging the JSM
(8/9) 11th bullet, multiple choice question, and last thoughts on the JSM
(8/11) E.S. Pearson: “Ideas came into my head as I sat on a gate overlooking an experimental blackcurrant plot”
(8/13) Blogging E.S. Pearson’s Statistical Philosophy
(8/15) A. Spanos: Egon Pearson’s Neglected Contributions to Statistics
(8/17) Gandenberger: How to Do Philosophy That Matters (guest post)
(8/21) Blog contents: July, 2013
(8/22) PhilStock: Flash Freeze
(8/22) A critical look at “critical thinking”: deduction and induction
(8/28) Is being lonely unnatural for slim particles? A statistical argument
(8/31) Overheard at the comedy hour at the Bayesian retreat-2 years on

Categories: Announcement, Statistics | Leave a comment

Palindrome “contest” contest

 metablog old fashion typewriterWant to win one of these books? You may not have noticed that since May, the palindrome rules have gotten trivially easy. So since it’s Saturday night, and I’m giving a time extension to 14 July – Le Quatorze juillet—have some fun coming up with a palindrome. It only needs to include “Elba” and the word “contest”. For full bibiographies and complete rules, see palindrome page:

 .EGEK CoverSend your candidates to me at error@vt.edu. One of the winners under the older, much harder, rules is here.

Previous palindrome contests included:

runs test, omnibus, cycle, dominate, editor, data, Model, sample, random, probable, Bayes, confident, likely, error, decision, variable, integrate, maximal, median (comedian), interpret, action, code, predict, luck, assess, model, simple, null, bootstrap,minimum, wrong, prefer, dogma, (s)exist, email

with variations.

Categories: Announcement, Palindrome | Leave a comment

Schedule for Ontology & Methodology, 2013

copy-cropped-ampersand-logo-blog1

May 4 (Saturday):

8:30-9:00: Pastries & Coffee (Continental Breakfast) outside of Pamplin 2030

MORNING SESSIONS:

9:00-9:15—Welcome talk
9:15-10:00 Ruetsche: “Method, Metaphysics, and Quantum Theory”
10:00-10:25: Discussion

10:25-10:40 coffee break

10:40-11:05 Shech, “Phase Transitions, Ontology and Earman’s Sound Principle”
11:05-11:20: Discussion

11:20-12:05 Godfrey-Smith, “Evolution and Agency: A Case Study in Ontology and Methodology”
12:05-12:30: Discussion

12:30-1:30 Box Lunch

AFTERNOON SESSIONS: Continue reading

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Coming up: December U-Phil Contributions….

Dear Reader: You were probably* wondering about the December U-Phils (blogging the strong likelihood principle (SLP)). They will be posted, singly or in pairs, over the next few blog entries. Here is the initial call, and the extension. The details of the specific U-Phil may be found here, but also look at the post from my 28 Nov. seminar at the London School of Economics (LSE), which was on the SLP. Posts were to be in relation to either the guest graduate student post by Gandenberger, and/or my discussion/argument and reactions to it. Earlier U-Phils may be found here; and more by searching this blog. “U-Phil” is short for “you ‘philosophize”.

If you have ideas for future “U-Phils,” post them as comments to this blog or send them to error@vt.edu.

*This is how I see “probability” mainly used in ordinary English, namely as expressing something like “here’s a pure guess made without evidence or with little evidence,” be it sarcastic or quite genuine.

 

Categories: Announcement, Likelihood Principle, U-Phil | Leave a comment

Ontology & Methdology: Second call for Abstracts, Papers

Conference Graphic

Deadline for submission of (abstracts for) contributed papers*:
February 1, 2013

Dates of Conference: May 4-5, 2013
Blacksburg, Va

  Special invited speakers:

David Danks (CMU), Peter Godfrey-Smith (CUNY), Kevin Hoover (Duke), Laura Ruetsche (U. Mich.), James Woodward (Pitt)

Virginia Tech speakers:
Benjamin Jantzen, Deborah Mayo, Lydia Patton, Aris Spanos

*Accommodation costs will be covered for accepted contributed papers.

  • How do scientists’ initial conjectures about the entities and processes under their scrutiny influence the choice of variables, the structure of mature scientific theories, and methods of interpretation of those theories?
  • How do methods of data generation, statistical modeling, and analysis influence the construction and appraisal of theories at multiple levels?
  • How does historical analysis of the development of scientific theories illuminate the interplay between scientific methodology, theory building, and the interpretation of scientific theories?

This conference brings together prominent philosophers of science, biology, cognitive science, causation, economics, and physics with philosophically minded scientists engaged in research into these interconnected methodological and ontological questions.

We invite (extended abstracts for) contributed papers that illuminate these issues as they arise in general philosophy of science, in causal explanation and modeling, in the philosophy of experiment and statistics, and in the history and philosophy of science.

For further information on submitting a paper or extended abstract, please visit the conference website: http://www.ratiocination.org/OM2013/.

Organizers: Benjamin Jantzen, Deborah Mayo, Lydia Patton

Sponsors: The Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy and the Fund for Experimental Reasoning, Reliability, and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science (E.R.R.O.R.)

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Aris Spanos: James M. Buchanan: a scholar, teacher and friend

 ob buchanan0011357770191Aris Spanos
Wilson Schmidt Professor of Economics
Department of Economics, Virginia Tech

Although I have known of James M. Buchanan all of my academic career, I got to known him at a personal level as a colleague and a friend in 2000.

Looking back, our first meeting established the nature of our relationship since then. Jim walked into my office at Virginia Tech, and began to introduce himself. I felt somewhat uncomfortable and interrupted him, saying that I knew who he was. Of course he did not know who I was and asked me what area of economics I have been working in. I replied that I was ‘an econometrician, working with actual data aiming to learn about economic phenomena of interest using statistical modeling and inference’, and I hastened to add that our two areas of expertise were rather far apart. His immediate response took me by surprise: ‘From what I know, one cannot do statistical inference unless one’s data come from random samples, which is not the case in economics’. My reply was equally surprising to him: ‘Jim, where have you been for the last 50 years?’ I went on to elaborate that he was expressing an erroneous view that was held in economics in the 1930s. We spent the rest of that afternoon educating each other about our respective areas of expertise and discussing their potential overlap. Continue reading

Categories: Announcement, Statistics | Leave a comment

James M. Buchanan

James M. Buchanan HeadshotYesterday, our colleague and friend, James Buchanan (Nobel prize-winner: 1986, Economics) died at 93.

From a NY Times obit [that runs a full half page]:

[He] was a leading proponent of public choice theory, which assumes that politicians and government officials, like everyone else, are motivated by self-interest — getting re-elected or gaining more power — and do not necessarily act in the public interest… He argued that their actions could be analyzed, and even predicted, by applying the tools of economics to political science in ways that yield insights into the tendencies of governments to grow, increase spending, borrow money, run large deficits and let regulations proliferate. Continue reading

Categories: Announcement, Statistics | Tags: | 6 Comments

Announcement: Prof. Stephen Senn to lead LSE grad seminar: 12-12-12

senncropped1Prof. Stephen Senn, Head of the Competences Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS), Luxembourg, will lead our graduate research seminar tomorrow, 12 December (London School of Economics 10-12 T 2.06. (see (LSE) PH500 page on the top of this blog, (background paper for seminar)):

“A statistician is one who prefers true doubts to false certainties.” (Senn)

Professor Senn has been the recipient of national and international awards, including the 1st  George C Challis award for Biostatistics at the University of Florida, and the Bradford Hill Medal of the Royal Statistical Society. He is the author of the monographs

Cross-over Trials in Clinical Research (1993, 2002),

Statistical Issues in Drug Development (1997, 2007)

Dicing with Death (2003)

Prof. Senn is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an honorary life member of Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PSI) and the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics (ISCB) and has an honorary chair in statistics at University College London .

Senn is also a monthly contributor to this blog on matters of philosophical foundations of statistics and methodology.  Here are some examples:

Stephen Senn: Fooling the Patient: an Unethical Use of Placebo? (Phil/Stat/Med)

Stephen Senn: Randomization, ratios and rationality: rescuing the randomized clinical trial from its critics

Stephen Senn: A Paradox of Prior Probabilities

Guest Blogger. STEPHEN SENN: Fisher’s alternative to the alternative

___________________________

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Rejected post: Nov. Palindrome Winner: Kepler

See Thomas Kepler’s statement and palindrome.

Categories: Announcement | Leave a comment

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