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Thursday, January 31 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Never Tell Me the Odds! (Part Deux, Asteroid Field Edition)

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Whether we like it or not, statistics are a rhetorical device. Any number that's reported in a scientific study has a great deal of context, whether it's stated explicitly or kept hidden, and like any argument, the numbers reported are intended to make a point. When reading, writing, or simply understanding the results of an experiment, you have to grasp the whole context of the numbers - including errors and uncertainties. As with our session at ScienceOnline 2012, we'll use some case studies drawn from recent scientific stories - both good examples and bad - where the numbers are a major part of the story.

1) Numbers in a scientific study are reported to make a point. Understanding what they mean is essential for getting the story.
2) Any reported number without a context is meaningless. The full story is needed to know what a scientific result means.

Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am
Room 10

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