The Contemplative Mammoth has crowd-sourced grant writing advice, aimed at those submitting to the NSF Division of Environmental Biology.
Wired has a nice interview with Michael Mauboussin on untangling skill and luck in sports, investing, and everyday life. Relevant to ecology and evolution too (e.g., think of selection as “skill” and stochastic drift as “luck”). An entertaining, thought-provoking read for academics, and for their undergraduate stats students too. Really drives home the relevance to everyday life of ideas about randomness and sampling.
Did you know there’s a statistical fallacy named after ecologists?! The “ecological fallacy” is the fallacy of assuming that what’s true of the group is true of the subgroups comprising the group. The term was coined by a sociologist in 1950. I say we name a fallacy after sociologists! 😉
Videos of all the panel sessions from the SpotOn London 2012 conference (plugged here a couple of weeks ago) are now on YouTube. Here’s the one from the panel on “the journal is dead, long live the journal”. You can go from that page to watch sessions on all sorts of topics related to online science (broadly defined), from altmetrics to the future of science journalism to data reuse, and much more.
Normal Deviate has a short and provocative post on the differences between frequentist and Bayesian statistics. I basically agree with what he has to say, and I’m reassured that it mostly lines up with things I’ve said in the past. In particular, he astutely notes that “using Bayes’ Theorem” or “using prior information” doesn’t in and of itself make you “Bayesian” (at least not in any way a frequentist would object to). Famed quantitative election forecaster Nate Silver, for instance, sings the praises of Bayes’ Theorem in his new book on prediction, but uses it to achieve frequentist goals. Of course, the post does beg the question of what your scientific goals ought to be, and how that choice dictates your choice of statistical approach (statistics being merely a means to scientific ends). This is an issue Deborah Mayo (for one) has discussed at length. I’ll probably post on some of her ideas in the near future.
From the archives:
Why I don’t care what the biggest question in ecology is. Inspired in part by a great essay by Peter Kareiva on what makes for good ecology. I’m especially curious to hear what my fellow blogger Brian thinks of that essay, since it’s a mix of views I think he agrees with, and views with which he disagrees…