Statistical myths debunked: 'Everything is Dangerous'

Stan Young of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences in RTP wants to help you sort junk science from the good stuff. (Remember that observational study that concluded that pregnant women who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to deliver baby boys, for instance?)

Young will give a talk debunking statistical myths entitled "Everything is Dangerous" at the next Sigma Xi Pizza Lunch, at noon Wednesday, April 22.

Pizza Lunch is free and open to science journalists and science communicators of all stripes. Feel free to forward this message to anyone you think might be interested. RSVPs are required (for a reliable slice count) to cclabby@amsci.org.

Directions to Sigma XI:
http://www.sigmaxi.org/about/center/directions.shtml

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My most memorable early memory of learning about the dangers of statistics came at about the age of eight. My father, an engineer who worked with some of the most brilliant scientists of the day, regularly brought home great stories about how real scientists (as opposed to the comic book kind that I was familiar with) used their time. One of his bosses had put together watertight proof that the import of bananas caused lung cancer, so, long before I knew the words, I understood the idea that correlation does not necessarily equal proof.