Scientists and statisticians and their tricks

In the weeks since the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK was hacked into, a lot of pundits  have been declaring the stolen emails to be the final nail in the coffin of climate change science.

One of the most damning emails was sent in November 1999 by Dr. Phil Jones, where he discusses using a “trick”,

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

As shocking as that revelation is, Oxford University Press actually published a textbook in 2002 with the title, “Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks” (click on image at left for more information or to order).

There must be a word ending in -gate to describe this statistical skulduggery.

One Response to “Scientists and statisticians and their tricks”

  1. Toni says:

    Statistics is the art of analysing data to make it show what you want.

    Well, kind of.

    You can’t make it show what isn’t there, but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper in order to find the ‘facts’ you wish to display.