Mathematician To Examine Statistical Interpretation in the Media

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Rebecca Goldin will deliver the Fetzer Lecture on February 28.

Rebecca Goldin, professor of mathematics at George Mason University, will analyze the use of statistics in the media when she delivers the annual Fetzer Lecture on Tuesday, February 28.

Audiences place high trust in the numbers published by the media but to what extent are the statistics interpreted correctly?

Rebecca Goldin, professor of mathematics at George Mason University, will share her research and insight on statistics at Nebraska Wesleyan University’s annual Fetzer Lecture on Tuesday, February 28.

Is the internet making us smarter or dumber? Are kids doing more drugs than they used to? Does being overweight put one at risk for dementia? Are there biological differences explaining why there are fewer women than men in mathematics? Can brain scans read our minds?  

In her lecture, "Should you believe it," Goldin will analyze the use of statistics in media. Citing real statistical bloopers in the news, she will uncover insights on numerical accuracy and answer the very question posed to listeners: "Should you believe it?"

Goldin is the director of STATS, an organization aimed to improve statistical reporting in journalism. She has been awarded several grants from the National Science Foundation to complete research in statistics education, much of which has appeared in many media sources, including NPR, CNN, and the New York Times.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Olin B Lecture Hall, located in the Olin Hall of Science, one block east of 50th Street and St. Paul Ave.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Amos Fetzer and Alice Fetzer Memorial Lecture was established by Dr. W.R. Fetzer (’17) in memory of his parents. The lectureship is designed to bring to campus distinguished scholars in science, math, computer science, and the environment.