Economic Astronomy: Gender Gaps in Lifetime Earnings

There are two recent studies of gender disparities in science and technology (referred to by the faintly awful acronym “STEM”) getting a lot of play over the last few days. As is often the case with social-science results, the data they have aren’t quite the data you would really like to have, and I think […]

On the “Hot Hand” in Basketball

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don’t want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of “hot” shooting– a […]

Survey-Related Inadequacies

I recently participated in a survey of higher education professionals about various aspects of the job. It was very clearly designed by and aimed at scholars in the humanities and social sciences, to the point where answering questions honestly made me feel like a Bad Person. For example, there were numerous questions about teaching methods […]

Nobel Prize Betting Pool

It’s that time of year again– the Swedes will be handing out money to famous scientists, with the announcements of who’s getting what starting one week from today. Thus, the traditional Uncertain Principles Nobel Prize Picking Contest: Leave a comment on this post predicting the winner(s) of one of this year’s Nobel Prizes. Anyone who […]

Teacher Evaluation and Test Scores, aleph-nought in a series

There’s been a lot of energy expended blogging and writing about the LA Times’s investigation of teacher performance in Los Angeles, using “Value Added Modeling,” which basically looks at how much a student’s scores improved during a year with a given teacher. Slate rounds up a lot of reactions, in a slightly snarky form, and […]

Communication Skills for Scientists

As I am still getting lengthy comments at the Chris Mooney post accusing me of making unreasonable demands on scientists, I thought I should spell out as explicitly as possible what skills I think scientists ought to have. This probably won’t solve the problem, but it’ll give me something to point to the next time […]