The biochemist stripped bare: fundamental issues around data analysis and presentation (that have taken about 20 years of doing science to sink in!)
Professor Joel Mackay, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia
Practising scientists know that every measurement they make is subject to uncertainty – and they also know that there is a whole set of protocols to help quantify that uncertainty, and assist with decision making and the presentation of data.
These tools are statistics. The very word strikes fear into the heart of many researchers as they admit quietly to themselves that they don’t remember as much of that first-year statistics course as they should, but are too embarrassed to ask anyone about it because they feel that they’re supposed to know better.
The good news is that Professor Joel Mackay has taken that embarrassment on the chin for you. He’s gone through the statistical fires of hell and emerged only mildly charred from the other side – and he’s now offering to share his findings. If you’ve ever felt slightly uncomfortable about error bars, sample sizes, p-values or prior probabilities, come along and hear the musings of someone else who has too!