Statisticians as a tribe

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Peter Curran for BBC Radio 4 puts the tribe of statisticians under the anthropological microscope. At the Royal Statistical Society Awards and Summer Reception, Curran interviews a number of statisticians on what they do and what statistics is really about. I mainly post this though for the part where he whispers about what he is seeing as if he were in a jungle studying a tribe of monkeys. Cracked me up.

What’s statistics to you?

[BBC via @TimHarford]


  • For me, statistics began as a way to answer questions. The simplest of them, “Is group A different from Group B on variable X?” Not only is there a difference, but is that difference large enough to care about. I was hooked early on at the discovery of a tool that could help answer any question that I could collect data about. Obviously my understanding of statistics has come a long way from t-tests and chi squares, but the basic premise still holds; what are the relationships in the data that matter?

  • Thanks for sharing this link. I listened to the program and found it most interesting! I liked the comment that statisticians explore data using powerful computers in the same way astronomers use Telescopes. As well as computers we have powerful visualisation methods (which wasnt mentioned in the program).


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