It doesn't come as a terrible shock to hear that a lot of patients struggle with statistics. It's a little more scary, though, to be reminded that doctors' understanding of health statistics and data on screening isn't all that fabulous either. And now this month we hear that "a considerable proportion of researchers" don't understand routinely used statistical terms in systematic reviews. Gulp.
We definitely need bloggers and journalists to help turn this around. Improving the use of numbers - and critiquing misuse of statistics - is the focus of a session co-moderated by Evelyn Lamb and me coming up this month at Science Online. Evelyn gets the ball rolling further discussion in her blog at Scientific American. And Frank Swain from the Royal Statistical Society also weighs in on journalists' desire to learn more about statistics in the era of data journalism. (#scio13 #PublicStats)
Trials show that reading this book, Know Your Chances, could help.