Friday, 25 June 2010

Lies, damn lies and statistics?

If you've ever doubted the truth of what you read in the papers (and who hasn't?) the Straight Statistics blog is for you.  Set up by journalists and statisticians from pressure group Straight Statistics,  its aim is to expose and correct some of the worst examples of  sloppy or garbled use of statistics.  Some of the examples are hilarious and make for a very entertaining and illuminating read.  You'll find here the stats behind Gordon Brown's infamous encounter with Gillian Duffy, the true cost of public sector pensions, and whether you'll really catch Legionnaire's Disease if you don't put screenwash in your car windscreen washer.

For anyone interested in this topic and in the kind of scare stories which the media relish so much, may I also recommend Ben Goldacre's book Bad Science.

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