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Archive of posts filed under the Miscellaneous Science category.

Nicholas Wade and the paradox of racism

The paradox of racism is that at any given moment, the racism of the day seems reasonable and very possibly true, but the racism of the past always seems so ridiculous.

Discussion with Steven Pinker on research that is attached to data that are so noisy as to be essentially uninformative

I pointed Steven Pinker to my post, How much time (if any) should we spend criticizing research that’s fraudulent, crappy, or just plain pointless?, and he responded: Clearly it *is* important to call out publicized research whose conclusions are likely to be false. The only danger is that it’s so easy and fun to criticize, […]

Can we make better graphs of global temperature history?

Chris Gittins sends along this post by Gavin Schmidt, who writes: Some editors at Wikipedia have made an attempt to produce a complete record for the Phanerozoic: But these collations are imperfect in many ways. On the last figure the time axis is a rather confusing mix of linear segments and logarithmic scaling, there is […]

Seth Roberts

I met Seth back in the early 1990s when we were both professors at the University of California. He sometimes came to the statistics department seminar and we got to talking about various things; in particular we shared an interest in statistical graphics. Much of my work in this direction eventually went toward the use […]

Crowdstorming a dataset

Raphael Silberzahn writes: Brian Nosek, Eric Luis Uhlmann, Dan Martin, and I just launched a project through the Open Science Center we think you’ll find interesting. The basic idea is to “Crowdstorm a Dataset”. Multiple independent analysts are recruited to test the same hypothesis on the same data set in whatever manner they see as […]

White stripes and dead armadillos

Paul Alper writes: For years I [Alper] have been obsessed by the color of the line which divides oncoming (i.e., opposing) traffic because I was firmly convinced that the color of the center line changed during my lifetime. Yet, I never could find anyone who had the same remembrance (or interest in the topic). The […]

An open site for researchers to post and share papers

Alexander Grossman writes: We have launched a beta version of ScienceOpen in December at the occasion of the MRS Fall meeting in Boston. The participants of that conference, most of them were active researchers in physics, chemistry, and materials science, provided us with a very positive feedback. In particular they emphazised that it appears to […]

Ticket to Baaaaarf

A link from the comments here took me to the wonderfully named Barfblog and a report by Don Schaffner on some reporting. First, the background: A university in England issued a press release saying that “Food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it is […]

Stan Model of the Week: Hierarchical Modeling of Supernovas

The Stan Model of the Week showcases research using Stan to push the limits of applied statistics.  If you have a model that you would like to submit for a future post then send us an email. Our inaugural post comes from Nathan Sanders, a graduate student finishing up his thesis on astrophysics at Harvard. […]

“More research from the lunatic fringe”

A linguist send me an email with the above title and a link to a paper, “The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets,” by M. Keith Chen, which begins: Languages differ widely in the ways they encode time. I test the hypothesis that languages that grammatically […]