August 2017 issue of Significance just published


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 04 August 2017
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of Wiley

The August 2017 issue (14:4) of Significance has just been published.

thumbnail image: August 2017 issue of Significance just published

Some of the stories in this issue include:

In our Cover Story Trials of a statistician, Robert Langkjær-Bain interviews statisticians who have fought for the independence of their data. Andreas Georgiou arrived in Greece to help repair the poor reputation of the country’s economic statistics. But he was soon defending his own reputation against charges of damaging the Greek state.

Age matters in the UK’s Brexit referendum. Were young people “robbed”? Would 16-year-old voters have made a difference? Should votes be weighted by life expectancy? Should votes be weighted by life expectancy? Pierre Nouvellet tackles some difficult questions arising from the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

Measuring the “poverty penalty” in the UK People with limited financial resources can face additional costs for essential goods and services. This is a challenge for the new British government to address, and a problem that must be reflected in government statistics, say Kingsley Purdam, Sam Royston and Graham Whitham.

What are the odds!? The “airport fallacy” and statistical inference Bert Gunter and Christopher Tong use a chance meeting in an airport departure lounge to argue that widespread reliance on frequentist statistical inference cannot help but lead science astray.

In Graphical interpretations of data - an introduction Significance editorial board member R. Allan Reese kicks off a new series on the dos and don’ts of data design, starting with an example close to home.

‘’It’s time to be concerned. It’s not time to panic” John Thompson, the former director of the US Census Bureau, reflects on the ambitions – and challenges – of the 2020 Census

In “Clinton defeats Trump” - 2016 polls and the shadow of 1948, Dominic Lusinchi finds parallels with the past while reviewing a report on last year’s presidential election surveys.

Mark Newman describes the power-law distribution, a statistical distribution to represent data spanning many orders of magnitude, from the frequencies of words in human language to the sizes of craters on the moon.

Drivers in New York City often claim that police hand out more tickets later in the month in order to meet quotas. Quota setting is illegal, but do the data support such a claim?, former Significance writing competition winner Jonathan Auerbach investigates: ‘’Are New York City drivers more likely to get a ticket at the end of the month?’’

Surprise, surprise! (again) The 2017 British general election exit poll, while most pollsters and pundits expected the Conservatives to win an increased majority in Britain’s June election, the Election Day exit poll forecast something different. John Curtice, Stephen Fisher, Jouni Kuha and Jonathan Mellon explain how the poll works, and why it made the right call.

Significance magazine has opened its archives for access by the public. The magazine's volumes 1-12 and the 2016 issues 13:1 to 13:4 are available to read, free of charge. Further, all magazine content will be made freely available one year after its initial publication. Royal Statistical Society and ASA members and subscribers will continue to enjoy exclusive access to the latest magazine content.

Significance is a bi-monthly magazine for anyone interested in statistics and the analysis and interpretation of data. Its aim is to communicate and demonstrate in an entertaining, thought provoking and non-technical way the practical use of statistics in all walks of life, and to show informatively and authoritatively how statistics benefit society. It is published on behalf of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

Significance is now available to read on the move from your Apple and Android mobile devices. Existing subscribers and members of the Royal Statistical Society and American Statistical Association can access the past 36 months' worth of issues. If you are not an existing member of either societies, or an existing subscriber to Significance, you will only be able to access free content.

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Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.