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CANCELLED: Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech): “The Statistics Wars and Their Casualties”

24 March 2020, 12:00 pm1:30 pm

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Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 situation this event will no longer take place as planned. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Abstract: Mounting failures of replication in the social and biological sciences give a new urgency to critically appraising proposed statistical reforms. While many reforms are welcome (preregistration of experiments, replication, discouraging cookbook uses of statistics), there have been casualties. The philosophical presuppositions behind the meta-research battles remain largely hidden. Too often the statistics wars have become proxy wars between competing tribe leaders, each keen to advance one or another tool or school, rather than build on efforts to do better science. Efforts of replication researchers and open science advocates are diminished when so much attention is centered on repeating hackneyed howlers of statistical significance tests (statistical significance isn’t substantive significance, no evidence against isn’t evidence for), when erroneous understanding of basic statistical terms goes uncorrected, and when bandwagon effects lead to popular reforms that downplay the importance of error probability control. These casualties threaten our ability to hold accountable the “experts,” the agencies, and all the data handlers increasingly exerting power over our lives.


24 March 2020
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
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Lakatos Building
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