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Podcasting about: Risky Talk Podcast

In this series of posts, we’ll be featuring mathematical podcasts from all over the internet, by speaking to the creators of the podcast and asking them about what they do.

We spoke to Ilan Goodman from the Winton Centre for Risk & Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, about the centre’s new podcast Risky Talk, in which Sir David Spiegelhalter talks to risk experts about probability and stats.

News of some significance

You may have heard of the replicability crisis in science, and practices like outcome switching and p-hacking. BuzzFeed reports on a paper that proposes a solution: rather than assign statistical significance at $p=0.05$, change this value to $0.005$.

Sir David Spiegelhalter is quoted saying: “Dealing with the size of the p-value fixes some things. But it’s not dealing with the most important issues.” There’s a lot more in the BuzzFeed article and the full paper.

More information

PsyArXiv preprint: Redefine statistical significance.

BuzzFeed: These People Are Trying To Fix A Huge Problem In Science.

Particularly mathematical Birthday Honours 2014

With the announcement the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, it’s time for the latest in our ongoing Honours-watch series of posts. In this, we search arbitrarily for ‘mathematics’ in the PDFs of the various lists, and hope our well-informed readers fill in the blanks where actual knowledge is required.

Maths at the Cheltenham Science Festival

Next week, scientists, science fans and science communicators will converge on Cheltenham town hall for a week of high-quality science festival. But how much of the programme is given over to the queen of all sciences, Mathematics? Here’s a list of some of the events going on we’d be interested in going to.

Follow Friday, 9/11/12

At what can only be described as far too regular an interval for such things, it’s another Follow Friday! Here’s who you should be getting in line behind people to follow this week, as well as some of their recent interesting links.

L’Aquila seismologists found guilty of manslaughter connected to earthquake risk assessment

In David Spiegelhalter’s excellent programme on risk, Tails You Win: The Science of Chance, we heard about the classic case of Michael Fish failing to predict the 1987 hurricane, and about the difficulty of predicting such events. Another area where precise prediction is extremely difficult is earthquakes.

Today the BBC are reporting that “six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison” in L’Aquila, Italy, having been found “guilty of multiple manslaughter” because of a “falsely reassuring statement” they gave before a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city in 2009 and killed 309 people.

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