Statisticians React to the News


This blog was born at the end of March 2020, when the news was full of data and statisticians all over the world were busy reading it.

An ISI Blog

In July 2020, the Statisticians React to the News blog debuted. Sponsored by the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and organized by a volunteer committee, the unique international blog seeks to provide a rarely heard statistician’s perspective on the news, with the goal of reaching a broad audience of curious individuals (not only statisticians!). Some posts are reactions to specific news articles and others apply more generally to reading and interpreting the news. The inaugural post provides more on the motivation for started the blog and what we envisioned, and this one-year reflection provides a glimpse of the variety of topics and perspectives covered in the first 47 posts.

"We hope readers of this blog will gain insight into what to believe when they read the news and, more importantly, what to ask.  By sharing our perspectives and experience, we hope our readers will then ask more statistically nuanced questions, that they will read with efficient skepticism. For teachers of all kinds, the blog might provide resources for courses and presentations on statistical communication and statistical thinking. For journalists, the blog can provide ideas for how to accurately capture conclusions in an engaging way and without leaving statisticians with a million questions.  Perhaps, even, the blog will encourage curiosity and continued learning about statistical thinking, a life skill as critical as looking both ways before you cross the street." - Ashley Steel and Peter Guttorp

Going into the second year, we hope to increase the breadth of our readership, welcome new contributors, and expand the editorial committee to share in the work of keeping the blog going. If you might like to write a post, know someone you think would do a great job, or are interested in volunteering in another way, don’t hesitate to reach out to the blog’s editor Megan Higgs ( We are particularly seeking volunteers from outside the U.S. Thanks in advance and we hope you enjoy the posts!