News and Numbers: A Writer's Guide to Statistics / Edition 3

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The third edition of News & Numbers is a clear and comprehensively updated introduction to the role, logic and language of statistics which focuses on how to evaluate statistical claims in science, health, medicine, and politics.
• Includes new sections on computer modelling, missing numbers, health care quality and its costs and risks
• Features a completely new chapter on reporting on risk
• Contains additional and updated examples throughout
• Illustrates how an understanding of statistics can help in writing about business, education, environmental policy, sports, opinion polls, crime and other topics
• Focuses on how to evaluate statistical claims in science, health, medicine, and politics

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
News & Numbers is a classic that should be a must-read for journalists in all fields, from business to sports. It provides practical advice for avoiding embarrassing statistical pitfalls.”
- Cristine Russell, President, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

"The demand for press coverage of science and medicine is growing as public interest grows. This book sets the standard. It uses simple language to teach the layman or the scientist how to read and understand scientific publications. Even more important, it teaches one to critically interpret and think about research findings and ask the right questions. This is a book that you can read from cover to cover and then keep as a reference."
- Otis Brawley, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, ACS

“Vic Cohn's reporting inspired a generation of science and health writers, and he kept us on the straight and narrow with his concise and engaging book on how to interpret scientific studies. Now updated and expanded, his classic guide to statistics should be essential reading, not just for reporters but for anybody trying to separate science from pseudoscience in the torrent of unfiltered information flowing over the internet.”
- Colin Norman, News Editor, Science magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405160964
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Victor Cohn, called the “Dean of Science Writers” was the prize-winning science editor and writer for The Washington Post for 25 years. He was cited as one of the top science writers by The New York Times and Newsweek, co-founded the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and served as president of the National Association of Science Writers.

Lewis Cope was science writer at the Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul for 29 years and, like Cohn, the recipient of numerous awards. Cope formerly served as president of the National Association of Science Writers.

Deborah Cohn Runkle is a Senior Program Associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Table of Contents

A Note to Our Readers vii

A Tribute to Victor Cohn, 1919–2000 ix

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Notes on Sources xv

Part I Learning the Basics 1

A Guide to Part I of News & Numbers 2

1 Where We Can Do Better 3

2 The Certainty of Uncertainty 8

3 Testing the Evidence 15

4 What Makes a Good Study? 37

5 Your Questions and Peer Review 54

Part II Now Down to Specifics 69

A Guide to Part II of News & Numbers 70

6 Tests and Drug Trials 71

7 Vital Statistics 83

8 Health Costs, Quality, and Insurance 97

9 Our Environment 108

10 Writing About Risks 124

11 Polls 133

12 Statistical Savvy for Many Types of News 145

Epilogue 161

Glossary 163

Bibliography 170

Index 173

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