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Statistics in the Media - Kevin McConway

Part of a series of talks from Wycombe Skeptics, all are welcome to join us and grapple with this months topic.

Statistics in the Media - Kevin McConway

When it comes to statistics, scientists, sceptics and statisticians often think of the media and journalists as a hotbed of confusion, distortion and, well, damned lies. These beliefs are not baseless - there is some appalling nonsense out there - but there is good statistical journalism too. The talk, which draws on experience as a statistician of working with print and broadcast journalists, will discuss and give examples of what can go wrong, what can go right, and why the newspapers are full of numbers anyway. Good journalists are better communicators than are most scientists or statisticians; if we want to get our ideas and research findings into the public consciousness, we need to learn from journalism and we need to learn how to work with journalists and the 'old' media. Can that be done without compromising principles? I think so, and I will give some pointers on how to do it.

The talk is totally free, and we will just ask for a small donation if you wish to help cover our speakers travel expenses.

 

See our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/187803204563655/ and Twitter account https://twitter.com/WycombeSITP to get a fuller idea of what we are about!

Most of us have a fondness for good quality beer, so our current home is Wycombe’s only specialty ale house & bottle bar, It is also a Bring Your Own Food Pub, and they have free WiFi.

The Bootlegger pub

3 Amersham Hill,

High Wycombe,

Bucks,

HP136NQ

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  • Daniel S.

    An excellent talk. Deserved to be on TED.
    And very fitting as our first inaugural guest speaker.

    April 25, 2013

  • Joe C.

    Excellent talk by a very engaging speaker. Thanks for organising this!

    April 25, 2013

  • Stevyn C.

    Great! Fascinating man and fascinating subject.

    1 · April 25, 2013

  • Paul H.

    very interesting talk, good numbers and plenty of stimulating questions afterwards, thanks to everyone for coming!

    April 25, 2013

  • Peter T.

    Rather non-controversial for a Skeptical audience, but I liked the approach of taking very recent news items to illustrate the issues. I'm already automatically suspicious of any use of so-called statistics in the media and try to check validity where possible. Clearly stats doesn't preclude the use of judgement and common sense. It can be just another tool - sometimes a blunt one, sometimes a sharp. Witness today's (25/4) story on culling badgers for TB control.

    April 25, 2013

  • Dougald T.

    Excellent meeting.

    April 25, 2013

  • Guillaume B.

    I thought I had already RSVPed no. Sorry if I forgot.

    April 24, 2013

  • Kathryn T.

    Sounds good - sorry I can't make it. :)

    April 24, 2013

  • Daniel S.

    Yes SIR

    April 24, 2013

  • Traci

    I'll be there with Other Half (who isn't on MeetUp)

    April 24, 2013

  • Antony S.

    Sorry can't come on Wednesdays at the moment as we have band rehearsal then until end June. Will be back asap. Antony

    April 24, 2013

  • Stevyn C.

    I'm in London for a friend's book launch starting at 7.30pm but will get back out to Wycombe ASAP so I should get to hear some of the talk (hopefully). But will definitely get time to chew the fat and sink a few Rebellion IPAs :)

    April 24, 2013

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