Want to change the world?

Give kids data

Make it relevant to their lives—and give
them tools for visualization

Trevor Butterworth

Photo: izusek for istockphoto.com
Sense About Science USA’s Rebecca Goldin is profiled in Quanta Magazine; click on the image to go to the article.

Data science, mathematics, statistics, quantitative reasoning: these are the building blocks of evidence in a world increasingly defined by data and numbers.

What they mean, how they are put together, how they relate to science and society, how they should be interpreted, and communicated—Sense About Science USA’s mission is to help journalists, policy makers, and the public answer these questions.

Between STATScheck—our free statistical assistance service for journalists, and our interactive statistics workshops—we have engaged in an unprecedented attempt to translate the importance of statistics to the media.

The feedback from leading journalists and journalism educators has been “give us more.”

All of this progress has been made possible by our collaborative partnership with the American Statistical Association, and the enthusiastic, unstinting contributions of their members.

Aviva Hope Rutkin, Big Data and Applied Mathematics Editor of The Conversation U.S., speaking at our panel at the Symposium on Statistical Inference on how data is transforming journalism (click here for more about our panel).
Thirty-four journalists and science writers turned up for our interactive STATS workshop on August 11, 2016. It was led by Regina Nuzzo, Gallaudet University statistician and STATS advisory board member, (click here for more about our workshops).

Data

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Statistics

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Design

“Open up the scope of data interpretation to a much wider population. Then we can argue what it all means and what’s right and what’s not right.”

—Sean McCusker, Ph.D, Reader in Education, Northumbria University

 “Data without statistics are like letters without a language, or ingredients without a recipe.” 

 —Andrea Foulkes, Sc.D, Professor, Mount Holyoke College

“Design is not about creating beautiful things, it’s about solving problems. It’s a user-centered discipline focused on peoples’ needs that relies on aesthetics to convey messages and organize content in readable, understandable, or explorable ways. Design gives access to things”

—Giovanni Magni, Data Viz Designer, Accurat
Scientifically Speaking communications workshop with ASA members
We worked with the Annals of Internal Medicine and Accurat to develop a new way of explaining the importance of missing data to clinical researchers.

Statistical rigor is essential to scientific integrity and trust in science. This is why our work also involves helping statisticians communicate statistics.

We do this in two ways: by running communications workshops for statisticians through the American Statistical Association and by bringing statisticians and designers together to reimagine how key concepts can be explained.

How to wreck
Puerto Rico

After saving Puerto Rico hundreds of
millions of dollars, a world-class
statistics institute faces destruction

Trevor Butterworth

The word statistics originally referred to information about the state.  We believe statistics are critical for democracy: we need accurate data about the “state” of the state to see how our world is organized—and to debate how our world should be organized. This is why we have joined the campaign to save Puerto Rico’s independent statistics institute