North Carolina State University Inducts 27 into Mu Sigma Rho
The alpha chapter of Mu Sigma Rho at North Carolina State University inducted 27 new members on March 27. While the five undergraduate and 22 graduate students didn’t make up as large a group as the 18 undergrads and 23 graduate students in 2011, the quality of their records was stellar. They joined a list of about 600 new inductees at NCSU since 1993. The NCSU chapter was established in 1985.
Students and faculty enjoyed a dinner buffet and talk by Stan Young, assistant director of bioinformatics at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, titled “Voodoo Statistics, Trust Me Science: A Systems Problem.” Young presented evidence of a false discovery rate for observational studies of > 95%. He described the current observational studies study paradigm as “no correction for multiple testing and no sharing of data sets” (i.e., “voodoo statistics” and “trust me science”). He also referred to the following two points made by W. Edwards Deming:
1. A system that is out of control is not the fault of the workers; it is the fault of the managers that designed the system.
2. It is the responsibility of managers to fix the system.
Young asserted that researchers analyzing observational studies are responding to current incentives, publications, and grants and said managers, funding agencies, and journal editors need to redesign the system.
The new Mu Sigma Rho lapel pins provided by the National Mu Sigma Rho president, George McCabe, were a hit. Roger Woodard, director of undergraduate programs; John Monahan, co-director of graduate programs; and Charlie Smith, faculty advisor for Mu Sigma Rho, passed out the pins and certificates.