[Edit, Sept. 25, 2016: In retrospect, this is a confusing post. The overall point is fine, but my contrived illustration is not a good one.] At an otherwise excellent talk some time ago, the speaker put up a graph like this (look below — not the cheetah)… …and said that the two sets of data points, … Continue reading You may not be interested in noise, but noise is interested in you
An extremely long post, mainly written to have something to point people to as a commentary on some recent work. A new paper from my lab came out recently in PLOS Biology, on watching and learning about the competition between gut microbes. I like the paper a lot, and, with one possible exception, it took more hard labor … Continue reading How are your intestines like a tide pool?
A few evenings ago I gave a “science pub” talk — part of a long-running series of public presentations that the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry runs at several sites in the state. (This was at a local pizza place, so thankfully I could just bike to it.) I called the talk “Glimpses of … Continue reading Science Pub 2016
As I briefly mentioned in my end-of-year book recap, one of the best books I read in 2015, and one of the best popular science books I’ve read ever, is Oliver Morton’s The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World. Geoengineering refers to the intentional manipulation of climate, usually in the context of combatting … Continue reading How I learned to stop worrying and love geoengineering
As I noted a few months ago, I co-taught this past term a graduate workshop on scientific ethics. It was an experiment — this is the first time we’ve offered a course like this in Physics at Oregon — and overall I think it was fairly successful. We had a series of lively discussions, consistent … Continue reading Course recap: Scientific Ethics (Spring 2016)
Synopsis: (1) We’re posting preprints, for the reasons that you’re probably already familiar with. (2) I can entertain myself by making graphs and models, this time about article metrics. Preprints A few months ago we posted our first, and a few weeks ago our second, papers on bioRxiv, the fairly new preprint server for life … Continue reading We’re Hip, We’re Trendy, We’re Pre-printers
[Note: a long post of interest only to people who care about data analysis and bad statistics, and maybe about the distant stars influencing your life.] By now, we should all be able to list the many reasons that p-values (or null-hypothesis-significance-testing, NHST) are awful: that “statistical significance” has nothing to do with effect size … Continue reading How do I hate p-values? Let me count the ways…