Retirement is a threshold - crossing a finish line of sorts. As a new emeritus professor. this is at the front of my mind. Our guest today knows and has studied, this third age of life; a beginning of all kinds of new activities personal, professional, and more. The third age of life is the focus of this episode of Stats and Short Stories with guest Dawn C. Carr.
Dawn C. Carr (@DawnCCarr) is the Director of the Claude Pepper Center and an associate professor at Florida State University in the Department of Sociology. Carr is a thought leader in the field of aging, and regularly presents her research to a range of audiences through keynote speeches, policy-related presentations, and seminars with older adults and practitioners. Carr’s research focuses on understanding the factors that bolster older adults’ ability to remain healthy and active as long as possible. Much of her work is dedicated to exploring the relevance, purpose, and factors related to work engagement after age 50 and volunteer engagement. Her recent work focuses on understanding the complex pathways between health and active engagement during later life, including resilience and the impact of key transitions in health, productivity, and caregiving.
At the COVID pandemic’s seeming height, social media were filled with images and stories of people adopting pets. Individuals who might not have had time for a dog or a cat before lockdown suddenly did. Needing to walk a dog also gave people a reason to leave their homes at regular intervals. For some older adults with dogs, those regular strolls around the neighborhood may have helped keep them from having increased feelings of loneliness. That’s the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Dawn Carr.
Dawn C. Carr is the Director of the Claude Pepper Center and an associate professor at Florida State University in the Department of Sociology. Carr is a thought leader in the field of aging, and regularly presents her research to a range of audiences through keynote speeches, policy-related presentations, and seminars with older adults and practitioners. Carr’s research focuses on understanding the factors that bolster older adults’ ability to remain healthy and active as long as possible. Much of her work is dedicated to exploring the relevance, purpose, and factors related to work engagement after age 50 and volunteer engagement. Her recent work focuses on understanding the complex pathways between health and active engagement during later life, including resilience and the impact of key transitions in health, productivity, and caregiving.
Last academic year colleges and universities across the US struggled with whether to mandate COVID vaccinations for their students. While colleges often require vaccines, the political controversy surrounding the COVID shots made adopting a vaccine policy a complicated undertaking. But according to one study, it had a profound impact on the national COVID death toll last fall. That's the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Riley Acton.
Riley Acton is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Miami University, as well as a Research Affiliate at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) and the College Crisis Initiative (C2i). She is an applied microeconomist who specializes in labor economics and the economics of education. Her current work examines the causes and consequences of decisions made by higher education institutions, the effect of local labor market shocks on K-12 and college students, and the impact of school finance policies on educational outcomes.
How did you get this figure for deaths? (1:35)
How did you get into Economics of education? (2:53)
How did you come up with the framework of the study (6:48)
How do you control in studies like this? (8:36)
How has your story been covered? (10:35)
Putting out a working paper (15:02)
How do calculate a year of life lost? (17:14)
What are the costs to mandates? (20:11)
Any new questions related to this work? (22:00)
Some important milestones have passed during the pandemic blur of the last few years. The 50th anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was one. Created by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970. NIOSH, one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was established as a “separate and independent research program to create objective scientific research findings in the field of occupational safety and health.” Today’s episode of Stats+Stories with guest Dr. Paul Schulte
Dr. Paul Schulte was the Director of the Division of Science Integration and Co-Manager of the Nanotechnology Research Center at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He currently is a consultant with Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International, Inc. Dr. Schulte has 47 years of experience in conducting and developing guidance on occupational cancer, nanomaterials, risk communication, workplace well-being, and genetics. He also has examined the convergence of occupational safety and health and green chemistry and sustainability. He is the co-editor of the textbook, Molecular Epidemiology: Principles and Practices. Dr. Schulte has served as guest editor of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and the American Journal of Industrial Medicine and was on the initial editorial board of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. He is currently on the International Advisory Board of the Annals of Occupational Hygiene. Dr. Schulte has developed various frameworks for addressing the aging workforce, burden of occupational disease and injury, well-being of the workforce, and translation research and synthetic biology and occupational risk.
New episodes of Stats+Stories return next week!
The tenure track process at American universities is a grind – one shaped by the old adage to “Publish or perish.” But if a junior faculty member manages to successfully navigate the process – publishing as expected, learning to manage a classroom, participating in service – then they’re rewarded with tenure. Tenure is an almost permanent employment relationship at universities that’s designed to give faculty the freedom – because of their job security to pursue any area of inquiry they feel drawn to. The problem, of course, is that not everyone makes it through that grind. A growing body of research shows that women, though they receive more than 50-percent of all PhDs, are not making it through the tenure track process in the same numbers. That’s the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guests Dr. Michelle Cardel and Leslie McClure.
Dr. Michelle Cardel is an obesity and nutrition scientist, registered dietitian, the Director of Global Clinical Research & Nutrition at WW International, Inc. (formerly Weight Watchers) and a faculty member at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine, where she is also an Associate Director for the Center for Integrative Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases. Her research is focused on three areas, assessing the effects of psychosocial factors, including low social status and food insecurity, on eating behavior and obesity-related disease, the development and implementation of effective healthy lifestyle interventions with a focus on underserved populations, and improving gender equity within academia.
Leslie McClure is Professor & Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Dr. McClure does work to try to understand disparities in health, particularly racial and geographic disparities, and the role that the environment plays in them. Her methodological expertise is in the design and analysis of multicenter trials, as well as issues of multiplicity in clinical trials. She is currently the Director of the Coordinating Center for the Diabetes LEAD Network, and the Director of the Data Coordinating Center for the Connecting the Dots: Autism Center of Excellence. In addition to her research, Dr. McClure is passionate about increasing diversity in the mathematical sciences and devotes considerable time to mentoring younger scientists. Dr. McClure also Chaired the ASA’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Assault, which led the way in developing policies surrounding sexual misconduct for professional organizations.
For years now, the utility of the P-value in scientific and statistical research has been under scrutiny – the debate shaped by concerns about the seeming over-reliance on p-values to decide what’s worth publishing or what’s worth pursuing. In 2016 the American Statistical Association released a statement on P-values, meant to remind readers that, “The P-values was never intended to be a substitute for scientific reasoning.” The statement also laid out six principles for how to approach P-values thoughtfully. The impact of that statement is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Robert Matthews.
Robert Matthews is a visiting professor in the Department of Mathematics, Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Since the late 1990s, as a science writer, he has been reporting on the role of NHST in undermining the reliability of research for several publications including BBC Focus, and working as a consultant on both scientific and media issues for clients in the UK and abroad. His latest book, Chancing It: The Laws of Chance and How They Can Work for You is available now.
His research interests include the development of Bayesian methods to assess the credibility of new research findings – especially “out of the blue” claims; A 20-year study of why research findings fade over time and its connection to what’s now called “The Replication Crisis”; Investigations of the maths and science behind coincidences and “urban myths” like Murphy’s Law: “If something can go wrong, it will”; Applications of Decision Theory to cast light on the reliability (or otherwise) of earthquake predictions and weather forecasts; The first-ever derivation and experimental verification of a prediction from string theory.
New episodes of Stats+Stories is returning in two weeks.
The issue of voter fraud has taken up increasing amounts of the public's imagination since the 2020 election. Spurred in part by claims from former U. S. President Donald Trump that the election was stolen from him. On their face, some of the claims of fraud seem irrational. Others however, require a bit of statistical investigation before they can be fully debunked. That’s the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guest Dr. David McCune.
Dr. David McCune is an associate professor of mathematics at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. He primarily studies problems in the field of mathematical political science, focusing on apportionment and social choice theory. He also enjoys studying games of chance, especially when Markov chains might be involved.
Since the summer of Black Lives Matter in 2020, institutions all over the U.S. have been exploring their pasts. In order to understand how they may have contributed to or helped perpetuate systemic racism. Universities, private businesses, and non-profits have all been working to try to understand what it means to be Anti-Racist. The American Statistical Association launched an Anti-Racism Task Force to explore this very thing, and that’s the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guests Dr. Adrian Coles and Dr. David Marker.
Dr. Coles is an Associate Director of Biostatistics at Bristol Myers Squibb. He is a collaborative researcher who specializes in the design and implementation of clinical trials and the interpretation of clinical trial data to facilitate the assessment of benefit/risk for promising pharmaceutical innovations. He is also a subject matter expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion and chairs the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Minorities in Statistics as well as the organization’s Antiracism Taskforce.
Dr. Marker is a senior statistician who recently retired after 37+ years at Westat. He is continuing to consult on topics of personal interest. He has worked on studies in the fields of public health, environmental pollution, homelessness, voting rights, and many others. He recently served as co-chair of the American Statistical Association’s Anti-Racism Task Force. Dr. Marker is an internationally recognized consultant in total quality management, having advised the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, South African, Dutch, and Danish Governments on improving the quality of their data collection activities. He has also appeared as an expert witness before Federal, state, and local governments and on voting rights and language-minority rights before Federal, State, and Provincial courts.
Dr. Marker is a Fellow of the ASA and American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and an Elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He will receive a Founders Award from the ASA at this summer’s Joint Statistical Meetings.
Health research is complicated, no matter the scale or the scope. Global health research, however, brings with it particular issues. For the last decade, researchers in epidemiology have been pulled between issues related to research integrity and research fairness. Bridging the two is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Sandra Alba and Susan Rumisha.
Dr. Sandra Alba is an epidemiologist at KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. For the past 15 years, she’s been applying statistical and epidemiological methods to evaluate public health programs in low- and middle-income countries. Her research focuses on data quality and good epidemiological practice, more specifically the interplay between research integrity and research fairness in multi-disciplinary international research collaborations.
Dr. Susan Rumisha, Senior Research Officer at Telethon Kids Institute and a biostatistician working in the field of public health and infectious disease epidemiology. Rumisha works on the Malaria Atlas Project and has over 15 years of experience in designing and conducting malaria and health system research. Her interests include applying advanced and modern statistical approaches to data from surveys, research, and routine health surveillance systems to generate evidence to guide decision-making processes in public health practice, policy formulation, and health systems performance, at national, regional and global levels.
What is a median? How about an interquartile range? Don’t even get me started on how to define a p-value. These statistical concepts are hard to grasp for your average statistics student, but imagining how these types of definitions translate into American Sign Language is a whole other ballgame. That is the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with special guest Dr. Regina Nuzzo.
Dr. Regina Nuzzo is a freelance science writer and professor in Washington, DC. After studying engineering as an undergraduate she earned her PhD in Statistics from Stanford University. Currently, she’s teaching statistics in American Sign Language at Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Dr. Nuzzo is also a graduate of the Science Communication program at the University of California-Santa Cruz. Her science journalism specialties center around data, probability, statistics, and the research process. Her work has appeared in Nature, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, New Scientist, and Scientific American, among others.
Have you ever wondered why a search engine result for undocumented workers in North Carolina provides links to worker rights sites, while a search for illegal aliens in North Carolina would lead you to immigration concern sites? Did you know that Wikipedia entries for women have a higher recommend rate of deletion than entries for men? The heart of those questions is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Dr. Francesca Tripodi.
Dr. Francesca Tripodi is a sociologist and media scholar whose research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and democratic participation, revealing how Google and Wikipedia are manipulated for political gains. She is an assistant professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), a senior faculty researcher with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute. In 2019, Dr. Tripodi testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on her research, explaining how search processes are gamed to maximize exposure and drive ideologically based queries. Her research has been covered by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Columbia Journalism Review, Wired, The Guardian, and The Neiman Journalism Lab.
Enjoy this reposted episode from last Spring about the history of Baseball while we take off the July 4th Holiday in the U.S.
Much of the United States is buried under snow and ice, leaving many dreaming of spring. For some – that dream of spring brings with it a longing to hear the crack of a ball on a bat or the taste of peanuts in a ballpark. With the spring thaw comes baseball season and, with it, the inevitable number crunching associated with the sport. Data and baseball is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Christopher J. Phillips.
Phillips is a historian of science at Carnegie Mellon University. His research is on the history of statistics and mathematics, particularly the claimed benefits of introducing mathematical tools and models into new fields. He is the author of "Scouting and Scoring: How We Know What We Know about Baseball" and "The New Math: A Political History," and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Time.com, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, and Nature. He received his Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University.
What do farmers in Kenya, fishers in the Philippines and teenagers in Boston have in common? They all need to balance risks when making decisions ranging from seed choice after considering predicted rainfall to life vest and chance of shark attacks to social distancing and emotional impacts. Understand risk is the focus of today’s episode of Stats+Stories with guest Tracey Brown.
Brown is the director of Sense about Science since 2002. Under her leadership, the charity has translated the case for sound science and evidence into popular campaigns to urge scientific thinking among the public and the people who answer to them. It has launched important initiatives including AllTrials, a global campaign for the reporting of all clinical trial outcomes; and the Ask for Evidence campaign, which engages the public in requesting evidence for claims. In 2010, the Times named Tracey as one of the ten most influential figures in science policy in Britain and in 2014 she was recognized by the Science Council for her work on evidence-based policy making. In June 2017 Tracey was made an OBE for services to science, and most recently in 2020 she was made an honorary Professor at UCL in the Department of Science, Technology and Engineering in Public Policy. She is also the author of a recent article in Significance magazine describing “What is risk know-how?”
What does 2022 have in common with 2018 and 2026? What is special about 2023? These years include a month where work productivity will be reduced in many countries around the world. Each year will have a month when attention is split between work email and the most beautiful game. The World Cup once again draws the attention and passion of much of the world. Today’s episode focuses on the economics of global sporting events with guest Adam Beissel.
Beissel is a professor of sports leadership and management at Miami University. His primary research interests include: the political economy of Sport Mega-Events; Global Politics of International Sport; Sport Stadiums and Urban Development; Social and Economic (in)justice in College Sport; Sports Labor Markets and Global Athletic Migration. Beissel is currently working on two interconnected and interdisciplinary research projects critically examining the cultural and political economies of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup joint hosted by Australia and New Zealand and the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup joint hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
In this special episode of Stats+Stories we announce our new guest host Regina Nuzzo, a professor at Gallaudet University and freelance Science writer, who will be joining us for the next couple of months. We will also be looking back at some of our favorite interviews from the past 12 months from the likes of...
Michelle Cardel - What is Nutrition Science - https://statsandstories.net/health1/what-is-nutrition-science
Timandra Harkness - The Data Economy - https://statsandstories.net/society1/the-data-economy
Sander van der Linden - Conspiracy Dissemination Dilemma - https://statsandstories.net/society1/conspiracy-dissemination-dilemma
Mike Orkin - The Stats of Skill vs. the Stories of Chance - https://statsandstories.net/society1/the-stats-of-skill-vs-the-stories-of-chance
Erik van Zwet (@erikvanzwet) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences of the Leiden University Medical Center where he has been since 2009. He joined the school wanting to do more applied work in the areas of statistics and data analysis and has since published a paper in Significance Magazine which was the focus of our previous episode.
Most articles that appear in academic journals are kind of mundane in that they’re extending the work of scholars who have come before, or sometimes taking an old theory in a new direction. There are those moments however, when a piece of research holds the possibility of fundamentally remaking a field. How should those articles be handled? What’s the ethical way to review such research? That’s the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Andrew German.
Andrew Gelman (@StatModeling) is a professor of statistics and political science, and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University. His research interests include voting behavior and outcomes, campaign polling, criminal justice issues, social network structure, and statistical and research methods. He has received the Outstanding Statistical Application award three times from the American Statistical Association, the award for best article published in the American Political Science Review, and the Council of Presidents of Statistical Societies award for outstanding contributions by a person under the age of 40.
Could you just describe what a big if true article is? (1:37), Editor motivations and making a splash (9:00), How can reviewers be better? (12:47), Attributing credit in this new post publishing review system (15:21), Why you felt compelled to start your ethics article (18:43), Changing thoughts? (25:03)
In the United States, like many countries, middle-aged and older workers are increasingly a larger proportion of the workforce. The needs of these workers is different than those you are younger and can run the gamut from educational to health needs. That's the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guests Takashi Yamashita and Phyllis A. Cummins
Takashi Yamashita is an associate professor of sociology, and a faculty in the Gerontology Ph.D. program and the Center for Aging Studies at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He also has a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in the School of Medicine, and serves as an affiliate member of the Center for Research on Aging at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). His areas of research are social determinants of health and well-being over the life course, health literacy, wider benefits of lifelong learning, gerontology education and social statistics education.
Phyllis A. Cummins is a Senior Research Scholar Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Gerontology at the Scripps Gerontology Center here at Miami University. Her research interests include work and retirement transitions, education and training for older workers, publicly sponsored employment and training programs, the role community colleges play in education and training for older adult
A randomized controlled trial is viewed as the golden standard in medical research, particularly as it relates to treatments or interventions. But there may be pitfalls to trusting that approach too much. That's the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Erik van Zwet.
What is a RCT? (1:15), What are characteristic of a well designed trial? (2:00), How did you get interested in this research?(3:45), Data you obtained from Cochrane Database? 5:18), Power and how you got results (7:05), How does affect the laymen (9:49), Coverage of RCTs (12:00), Trends of exaggeration (14:17), What goes into exaggeration? (16:54), What needs to be done? (18:56), Across other fields (21:58)
Erik van Zwet (@erikvanzwet) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Data Sciences of the Leiden University Medical Center where he has been since 2009. He joined the school wanting to do more applied work in the areas of statistics and data analysis and has since published multiple papers in Significance Magazine including the main focus of today’s episode, “Addressing exaggeration of effects from single RCTs”.
Cities are places where continuity and change co-exist. History shapes neighborhoods and the relationships between them, while economic forces can reshape a city’s landscape and skyline. In Washington D-C, the friction between continuity and change is ever present. The data and the research that goes into planning such a place is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories, with guest Andrew Trueblood.
Trueblood is a housing, economic development, and land use professional. Between 2018 and 2021, Andrew served as the Director of the DC Office of Planning (DCOP), where he prioritized agency efforts around housing and equity. He shepherded the update of the Comprehensive Plan and led DCOP’s support of the Mayor’s housing efforts. This included a goal of 36,000 new units by 2025, with 12,000 affordable units and area-level affordable housing targets with the goal of achieving a more equitable distribution of affordable housing. Trueblood also championed regional coordination, including through his role as Chair of the Planning Directors Technical Committee at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, where he helped formulate regional housing targets.