How Statistics Can Solve the BPA Controversy

Editor’s note: The controversy over whether bisphenol A, a component of plastics and can linings, is dangerous to humans is now in its 17th year. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on research by the US and other governments around the world—with intense...

Anatomy of a Statistical Meltdown

“Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls,” said the headline on ABC News. “The research showed that hyperactive, anxious, aggressive and depressed behavior was more common in 3-year-old girls who were exposed in the womb to bisphenol-A than in boys of the...

Black Coffee is Not a Sign You Are a Sadist

Black coffee drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths and sadists, screamed a slew of recent headlines (see: Huffington Post and Quartz). And the content of some of these stories was equally hyperbolic: “Are you wondering whether to trust someone you recently met?...

The Drink of Death?

How reliable is the claim that sugary drinks are killing 184,000 people every year?   Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs)—soda, fruit juice, iced tea to the non-academic—have increasingly been blamed for fattening and sickening the world; now, according to a new...

The Audacity of Dope

“If you buy medical marijuana edibles, you are probably getting ripped off,” headlined Quartz. “Walk down any convenience store drug aisle and you can generally rely on the products on the shelves to contain the dosages they promise. But walk into a marijuana...

What Can Statistics Tell Us About Deflategate?

Both the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady were recently punished by the National Football League for the strong suspicion of deflating footballs in a contest against the Indianapolis Colts. Driving the fines and suspensions was a 243-page document, the...
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