First Joint Issue Offers Fair Bit to Enjoy
Julian Champkin, Significance Editor
The first joint issue will contain a mix of the important, the topical, the scientific, and, occasionally, the whimsical.
Two events that have dominated the news recently are the health care reforms that passed into U.S. law in March and the Icelandic volcano that halted air traffic over Europe in April. The health care changes are the most far-reaching in U.S. history. Is it possible to predict the results of such fundamental reform? Jasjeet Sekhon and Jonathan Gruber debate the issue.
Meanwhile, Peter Brooker looks at the risk analysis behind the decision to ground the planes—and finds that the statistical tests that would have made the analysis meaningful have not been done.
Nobel prizes will be announced in October. Ahead of them, Significance looks at just how objective they can really be. The statistics of women laureates over the years show a pattern that not even an all-male conspiracy theory could convincingly explain.
Also in this issue are an article about a better, statistically based way of understanding the threats to orangutans and contributing to their conservation; a statistical analysis of carvings on thousand-year-old standing stones that shows they are not random, but form a written language; and an interview with George Box, the “Renaissance Grand Old Man” of statistics.
Add columns, letters, and even a statistical crossword and you get a magazine with something to interest, something to inform, and a fair bit to enjoy.