Tag Archives: Statistics

Do we need a statistics campaign?

Getstats is both the issue and the midwife of a growing national consensus. There is deepening agreement that the UK, and its constituent territories, need a more numerate population …if the economy is to be rebalanced, productivity to increase, families and households to cope with the quantities of modern life and together we are to talk to one another sensibly about risk and probability and so devise lasting policies for climate change, energy and ageing. Read More »

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Do Election Statistics Add Up?

Dr Leonor Sierra is Science and Policy Manager at Sense About Science

With less than a day to go before the polling stations open, it’s time to choose who wins our vote. For weeks we’ve heard politicians make claims and promises about crime, unemployment, cancer treatment and tax cuts using various statistics to back these up. But how can we work out what the figures are telling us? Statistics can be hyped and sensationalised but knowing a bit about them can give us a way to unpick arguments. Read More »

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Statistics in Parliament

Andrew Garratt is Manager for External Affairs and the Statistics User Community at the Royal Statistical Society.

On 22 February, representatives from the three main political parties set out their policies on official statistics at a public event hosted by the Royal Statistical Society.

In his opening remarks the Society President and chair of the event, David Hand, said that the regrettable lack of trust in official statistics did not reflect the quality of the figures being produced, but instead represented a combination of a number of things, including a lack of understanding of the complexities of official statistics; mistrust arising from the misuse of statistics, either deliberate or accidental; and a perceived difference between the ground truth as the public see things, and the overall published statistical summaries. Read More »

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SET Statistics: progress since 1986?

Without fanfare the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published this year’s Science, Engineering and Technology Statistics. I am a big fan of SET stats as they give us the evidence on whether or not the government is making progress in science and engineering across a number of areas. There is too much data (7 sections covering expenditure on R&D, international comparisons and SET personnel) to do a comprehensive analysis so I will look at what changes have occured to research funding between 1986 (the year CaSE was founded as Save British Science) and 2007.

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