14 percent of the world’s coral has been lost since 2009, according to a report from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. The loss of these reefs impacts the ocean environment. Coral Reefs support almost 30 percent of marine life as well as the world economy. The plight of coral reefs is the subject of the documentary Chasing Coral who’s lead scientist we have joining us today Dr. James Porter.
Dr. James Porter is a Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia. He is an expert in coral, climate change, and the connections between these issues and human health and social justice. He was the scientific advisor of the award-winning film "Chasing Coral" (presently on Netflix) and its educational and outreach materials. His testimony before Congress on the connections between coral and productive human society "greatly influenced the U.S.’s decision to sign this U.N. Ocean Biodiversity Treaty."
More than 117-million people will be forced from their homes or stateless in 20-23 according to the United Nations Refugee Agency – that’s more people than live in the entire country of Turkey. Already vulnerable, refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons often experience human rights violations. The data of the human rights of displaced persons and refugees is the focus of this episode of Stats and Stories with guest Volker Schimmel.
Volker Schimmel is the Head of the Global Data Service UNHCR. Having worked on conflict and displacement research and policy in London, he joined the UN in 2003 starting with UNHCR in the Great Lakes. He worked with OCHA, rolling out the Field Information and Data Management System, and with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on camp improvement projects and innovative solutions to protracted displacement. Since 2012, when he rejoined UNHCR, he has worked in the Middle-East region and was the Deputy Head of the UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement. He is currently UNHCR Chief Data officer, heading UNHCR’s Global Data Centre in Copenhagen.
How do you learn about what's going on in the world? Did a news headline grab your attention? Did a news story report on recent research? What do you need to know to be a critical consumer of the news you read? If you are looking to start developing your data self-defense and critical news consumption skills, this book is for you! It reflects a long-term collaboration between a statistician and a journalist to shed light on the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics. The only prerequisite for enjoying this book is an interest in developing the skills and insights for better understanding news stories that incorporate quantitative information
While Edgar Alan Poe reported that the raven quoth, “nevermore,” crows may respond with, “more likely” when forced to choose between two options. That’s according to our guest on this episode of Stats+Stories Dr. Melissa Johnston
Dr. Melissa Johnston is a neurobiologist from New Zealand who investigates complex cognition in birds. Following the completion of her PhD at the University of Otago, Dr. Johnston was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship to continue her research in Germany at the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen. Her research focuses on the interplay between the brain and behaviours such as working memory, timing, and probabilistic reasoning in a range of avian species, including pigeons, jackdaws, and carrion crows.
After producing hundreds of episodes we have lots of data lying around. Data we made available to you, asking you to crunch the numbers for a contest that told the story of our podcast. The winner of that contest Nicole Mark joins us today on Stats+Stories.
Nicole Mark is a visual learner and communicator who found her passion in the field of data visualization. She started out making maps of imaginary worlds and cataloging her volumes of The Baby-Sitters Club on her family's original Apple Macintosh. Now, she analyzes and visualizes data in Tableau and with code, always on a Mac! She writes about dataviz, life with ADHD, and the modern workplace in her blog, SELECT * FROM data. Nicole co-leads Women in Dataviz and the Healthcare Tableau User Group. She’s working on her master’s in data science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Brazil’s 2022 census shows its population is well over 203 million people with the most populace states in the southern part of the country. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is responsible for the nation's census, as well as the gathering of other official statistics. Today three members of IBGE are joining us for this episode of Stats+Stories.
Bianca Walsh is a technical assistant for the Director of the National School of Statistical Sciences (ENCE) at IBGE. She is currently the co-lead of the Statistical Literacy task team of the Global Network of Institutes for Statistical Training (GIST), and has been an active member of the Training, Competencies and Capacity Development task team for the UN Big Data Project since 2021. She is also member of the technical board of the Regional Hub of Big Data in Brazil, specifically conceiving and promoting capacity-building events in the area.
Ana Laura Azevedo is a Journalist with experience in social media management, video scripting and management, data journalism, press relations and internal communications. Currently, she is an analyst at the IBGE's Center for Information Documentation and Dissemination (CDDI), in the area of Journalism / Social Networks.
Agláia Tavares is a Journalist with experience in social media management, data journalism, press relations and internal communications, and children’s books. Currently, she is the manager of Content and Promotion Management (GECOP) at IBGE's Center for Information Documentation and Dissemination (CDDI) since 2022.
The history of statistics is filled with interesting facts about the development of the field and stories of the people who helped shape it. A new column at CHANCE magazine will explore the history of stats which is the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guest Chiatra Nagaraja
Chaitra Nagaraja is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter. Her research interests are primarily in measurement, particularly macroeconomic and socioeconomic indicators, time series, and the history of statistics. Prior to joining Exeter, she was a faculty member at the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University in New York City where she wrote the 2019 book Measuring Society and a research mathematical statistician at the U.S Census Bureau, focusing on the American Community Survey. The book is a history of US official statistics like unemployment, inflation, and poverty. In addition to her university research and teaching, she is the chair of the American Statistical Association’s Scientific and Public Affairs Advisory Committee, a member of the Royal Statistical Society’s History of Statistics Section, and the book review editor for the International Statistical Review. She also recently accepted a co-editorship position for the new history of statistics column in CHANCE magazine.
This contest is a call for lesson plans that make use of the Stats + Stories podcasts. The lesson plan should include the appropriate materials needed by both students and teachers.
As examples, a good lesson plan might include: instructions for the students to carry out the activity, instructor tips, learning objectives, time to complete the activity, resources needed to complete the activity, recommended course, recommendation for in-class or out-of-class use for the activity, and skills required.
The lesson plan should be accompanied by a grading rubric for any assessment.
Lesson plans should be submitted by January 1, 2024.
Along with cash prizes totaling $1000, the top winners will present their activity in a panel during eCOTS 2024 from May 28th to May 31st and have them posted on CAUSEweb.org and statsandstories.net.
The lesson plans will be judged by a panel of educators.
Contest judging rubric
Each of the following will be evaluated on a four-point scale and averaged across judges:
1. Alignment to theme of eCOTS 2024 “What’s Next? Moving Forward” or the track - Past, Present, and Future of Statistics/Data Science.
2. Alignment with the GAISE guidelines.
3. Activity links to clear learning objective(s).
4. Activity is innovative in its approach.
5. Aligns with research-based practices.
6. Instructions are clear and easy to follow.
7. Activity is appropriately challenging for audience.
8. Engaging and interesting topic for students.
Supplemental resources and adaptability will be used to break ties.
A number of organizations in the United States focus on statistics education, and now you can add the U.S. Congress to the list. A bill introduced in the house earlier this year seeks to help support and improve stats education for both Pre-K through 12, as well as higher education. It is also the focus of this episode of stats and stories with guests Donna LaLonde and Steve Pierson.
Donna LaLonde is the Associate Executive Director of the American Statistical Association (ASA) where she works with talented colleagues to advance the vision and mission of the ASA. Prior to joining the ASA in 2015, she was a faculty member at Washburn University where she enjoyed teaching and learning with colleagues and students; she also served in various administrative positions including interim chair of the Education Department and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. At the ASA, she supports activities associated with presidential initiatives, accreditation, education, and professional development. She also is a cohost of the Practical Significance podcast which we appeared on in May.
Steve Pierson is the Director of Science Policy for the American Statistics Association. In his role, he works to raise the profile of statistics (the scientific discipline), government statistics, and statisticians nationally. He also advocates on behalf of ASA members and for more engagement of statistics/statisticians and the need to invest in our data infrastructure, as it powers the economy and improves our health and wellbeing.
Women’s World Cup action in Austrailia and New Zealand has wrapped up and Spain’s been crowned the champion. After players and fans headed home, residents were left to clean up after them. Hosts of such tournaments are also left to tackle the human rights implications of hosting an event that massive. The human rights impacts of something like the World Cup are incredibly hard to measure and that is the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guest Dr. Megan Price.
Dr. Megan Price is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Price designs strategies and methods for statistical analysis of human rights data for projects in a variety of locations including Guatemala, Colombia, and Syria. Her work in Guatemala includes serving as the lead statistician on a project in which she analyzed documents from the National Police Archive; she has also contributed analyses submitted as evidence in two court cases in Guatemala. Her work in Syria includes serving as the lead statistician and author on three reports, commissioned by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), on documented deaths in that country.
How do you learn about what's going on in the world? Did a news headline grab your attention? Did a news story report on recent research? What do you need to know to be a critical consumer of the news you read? If you are looking to start developing your data self-defense and critical news consumption skills, this book is for you! It reflects a long-term collaboration between a statistician and a journalist to shed light on the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics. The only prerequisite for enjoying this book is an interest in developing the skills and insights for better understanding news stories that incorporate quantitative information.
Matthew Shearing is a private sector consultant working globally in partnership with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors on improving official statistics and other data systems, Monitoring and Evaluation, and embedding official statistics standards in wider international development.
David Stern is a Mathematical Scientist and Educator. He is a former lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Sciences at Maseno University in Kenya and a founding board member of African Maths Initiative (AMI).
Natalie Shlomo is Professor of Social Statistics since joining the faculty in September 2012. She was the head of the Department of Social Statistics (2014-2017). Her research interests are in topics related to survey statistics and survey methodology. She is the UK principle investigator for several collaborative grants from the 7th Framework Programme and H2020 of the European Union all involving research in improving survey statistics and dissemination. She was the principle investigator for the ESRC grant on theoretical sample designs for a new UK birth cohort and co-investigator for the NCRM grant focusing on non-response in biosocial research. She was also principle investigator for the Leverhulme Trust International Network Grant on Bayesian Adaptive Survey Designs. She is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. She is an elected council member (to 2021) and Vice-President (to 2019) of the International Statistical Institute. She serves on editorial boards of several journals as well as national and international advisory boards.
Tim Macuga joined the QUT Centre for Data Science at the start of 2022 where he expands connections and amplifies research for the Centre and for the Australian Data Science Network.
Before he joined CDS, Tim served as Media and Communications Officer for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS). There, he led the creation of all the content for news on the Centre’s website, social media, and YouTube channels. He also produced the ACEMS podcast, The Random Sample.
Prior to moving to Australia in 2014, Tim spent nearly 30 years in television news production and management in the United States. The last 20 of those years, serving as a Producer and then Executive News Producer for the FOX-TV affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.
Communicating facts about science well, is an art. Especially if you are trying to reach an audience outside your area of expertise. A statistician in Norway however, is convinced that how you say something is just as important as what you say when it comes to science communication. That topic is the focus of this episode of Stats+Stories with guest Jo Røislien.
Jo Røislien is a professor of medical statistics at the University of Stavanger, and has been involved in numerous research projects in medicine and health. As a medical statistician, he has worked to improve quantitative research methodologies in a number of fields from cancer research, clinical trials, nursing research, radiology, rehabilitation, obesity, drug research, addiction, public health and prehospital critical care.
Kelly Spoon a tenured faculty member at San Diego Mesa College. She teaches mathematics and statistics within the Mathematics department. She’s had a number of different roles on campus and within my department, including STEM Professional Learning Coordinator and is involved in statistics education and focused on culturally responsive teaching.
Amy Hogan is an NYC high school teacher. Currently teaching AP Statistics, Math Analysis (sophomore math team), and Algebra 2. She is involved with stats education at the K-12 level with the ASA and NCTM, and served on the committee for USCOTS 2023.
Daniel Kaplan is a nationally recognized college professor in Statistics, Data Science, and Applied Mathematics. Author of multiple university-level textbooks, award winning teacher and curriculum developer. Strong innovator in teaching with professional-level software and author of several R packages for teaching data science, statistics, and calculus.
The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education, aka CAUSE has held the United States Conference on teaching statistics, also known as USCOTS every other year since 2005. This conference enables teachers of statistics to exchange ideas and discover how to improve their teaching. The theme of this year's conference was communicating with and about data, a topic near and dear to us on the Stats and Stories podcast. Two sub-themes are explored as part of this conference, helping students to communicate the process and results of their statistical analysis, and helping teachers to communicate with students in order to develop their understanding of statistical concepts and their ability to implement statistical methods for conversations with leaders and speakers at the United States Conference on teaching statistics were recorded on site. And we are happy to feature these in a collection of episodes of Stats and Stories.
What is the best way to support people living in extreme poverty? Could unconditional cash transfers and universal basic income be viable options? How can we know if such programs will work? Today's episode of stats and stories focuses on addressing the needs of people living in extreme poverty with Miriam Laker.
Dr. Miriam Laker is the Global Director of Research at GiveDirectly and a Senior Research Scientist and Epidemiologist with nearly two decades of experience conducting research. Amongst her extensive experience, she led the design of the evaluation plans for GiveDirectly’s recently launched Yemen Refugees program; the learning agenda for large cash for refugees in Rwanda, and the evaluation of cash transfers in a disaster (floods and landslides) response in Uganda. She was also involved in a recently concluded randomized controlled trial evaluation of the impacts of large lump sum cash transfers on refugee and host households in Uganda.
The Women’s World Cup is about to kick off in Australia and New Zealand with the defending champion U.S. Women’s national team once again the favorite to win the whole thing. They will have to make it past the English, Spanish, and German sides though, before they raise the world cup trophy high. A new book new out now explores the tournament with guest Adam Beissel.
Adam Beissel (@ExtraBeissHit) 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.
Where do you live? Who are your neighbors? Do you rent or own? What housing is available in your community? Today’s episode of stats and stories focuses on how and why we want to understand Americans’ experience with housing, with guest Dr. Emily Molfino.
Dr. Emily Molfino is the Special Assistant to the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Census Bureau. Her work focuses on improving data dissemination and the use of administrative data for the Census. While previously at the Census, Dr. Molfino worked extensively on modernizing the American Housing Survey using administrative data and process improvements. During this time, Dr. Molfino also produced research on the use of housing administrative data, which was published in Cityscape during her work at HUD.