Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars (book review)

Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars, by Deborah G. Mayo.  Cambridge University Press, 2018. If there’s one thing we can all agree on about statistics, it’s that there are very few things we all agree on about statistics.  The “statistics wars” that Deborah Mayo would like to help us […]

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Go ahead, use contractions: poll responses and more

Two weeks ago, I reported my run-in with a reviewer who wanted me to scrub common English contractions (like it’s, doesn’t, or we’re) from a manuscript.  There’s a common belief that contractions mustn’t be used in scientific writing, although the genesis of this “rule” is unclear.  So is the rationale.  One that’s commonly suggested is […]

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Yes, most reviews are submitted at the deadline. No, that doesn’t justify shorter deadlines

Image: Deadline, by geralt CC 0 via pixabay.com. Warning: I’m a bit grumpy today. I’m back tilting at one of my favourite windmills today: requests for manuscript reviews with unreasonably short deadlines.  I’ve explained elsewhere that one should expect the process of peer review to take a while.  Journals would love to compress the process […]

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How big an obstacle are common contractions for non-native speakers of English? Polls!

I recently had a run-in (OK, a minor disagreement) with a reviewer who wanted me to scrub all contractions from my manuscript – and who specifically objected, not to some fancy or newly-coined acronym but standard, common English contractions like didn’t, it’s, and we’ll. Reviewer: “Do not use contractions. Change didn’t for did not.” Me: […]

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Wow – a “People’s Choice Award” for Scientist Sees Squirrel!

I was awfully pleased to learn, late last week, that Scientist Sees Squirrel has won the 2018 People’s Choice Award for Canada’s Favourite Science Blog*.  What an honour!  The award competition is run yearly by the blogging network ScienceBorealis in collaboration with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada.  There were 9 nominees this year, […]

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Presenting statistical results: pointers in scientific writing

This semester, I’m coteaching a graduate/advanced-undergraduate level course in biostatistics and experimental design.  This is my lecture on how to present statistical results, when writing up a study.  It’s a topic I’ve written about before, and what I presented in class draws on several older blog posts here at Scientist Sees Squirrel.  However, I thought […]

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No, vineyards are not beautiful (a conservation conundrum)

Image: “Beautiful vineyard” by Sasmit68 via wikimedia.org, CC BY-SA 4.0 Last week I raised the apparently-dumb but actually rather interesting question of why humans consider flowers to be beautiful.  Today, another question about beauty, this time with (I’m afraid) really unfortunate consequences.  Have you ever heard someone talk about how beautiful a vineyard is?  Have […]

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