Some cool links
First, right on the heels of my complaining about publicly available data being unusable, let me share this link, which is a FREAKING cool website which allows people to download 2010 census data in a convenient and usable form, and also allows you to compare those numbers to the 2000 census. It allows you to download it directly, or by using a url, or via SQL, or via Github. It was created by a group called Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) for other journalists to use. That is super awesome and should be a model for other people providing publicly available data (SEC, take notes!).
Next, I want you guys to know about stats.org, which is a fantastic organization which “looks at major issues and news stories from a quantitative and scientific perspective.” I always find something thought-provoking and exciting when I go to their website. See for example their new article on nature vs. nurture for girls in math. Actually I got my hands on the original paper about this and I plan to read it and post my take soon (thanks, Matt!). Also my friend Rebecca Goldin is their Director of Research (and is featured in the above article) and she rocks.
Along the same lines, check out straightstatistics.org which is based in the UK and whose stated goal is this: “we are a campaign established by journalists and statisticians to improve the understanding and use of statistics by government, politicians, companies, advertisers and the mass media. By exposing bad practice and rewarding good, we aim to restore public confidence in statistics. which checks the statistics behind news and politics.” Very cool.