Skip to content

Ethics and statistics

For a few years now, I’ve been writing a column in Chance. Below are the articles so far. This is by no means an exhaustive list of my writings on ethics and statistics but at least I thought it could help to collect these columns in one place.

Ethics and statistics: Open data and open methods

Statisticians: When we teach, we don’t practice what we preach (with Eric Loken)

Ethics in medical trials: Where does statistics fit in?

Statistics for sellers of cigarettes

Ethics and the statistical use of prior information

The war on data (with Mark Palko)

They’d rather be rigorous than right

It’s too hard to publish criticisms and obtain data for replication

Is it possible to be an ethicist without being mean to people?

The AAA tranche of subprime science (with Eric Loken)

The Commissar for Traffic presents the latest Five-Year Plan (with Phil Price)

Disagreements about the strength of evidence

How is ethics like logistic regression? Ethics decisions, like statistical inferences, are informative only if they’re not too easy or too hard (with David Madigan)


  1. The second article inspired a blog post today; I look forward to reading them all.

    • elin says:

      Link? I was thinking about how I find the attention to measurement in statistics education pretty impressive compared to some other fields. My social science department uses the LOCUS for before and after in our quantitative analysis course and it’s been really helpful, and I think the ARTIST items are also overall quite good. I’m always surprised to hear people aren’t taking advantage of them. Just digging through patterns of error in the pretest has helped us rethink some things. I think along with physics, statistics has a lot of the best research on how to teach and how students learn. This could be because of the math education people, perhaps. Causeweb and JSE are both quite good as well.

      I think you have a nice post that supports what the research on teaching and learning statistics supports: de-emphasize computation and use of toy data sets, increase emphasis on reasoning and using statistics to answer questions that have meaning to students. (Among other things.)

  2. Brad Stiritz says:

    Thank you, Andrew. I sincerely appreciate you sharing so much of your work and your thinking via your blog. Happy holidays to you and your family, and best wishes for 2017!

  3. BoSelecta says:

    working link for Ethics and the statistical use of prior information <-

  4. Andrew says:

    Brad: Thanks for the kind words.

    Bo: Link fixed; thanks.

Leave a Reply