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Graphs and statistical analysis are used a lot in the life sciences. One common example: experiments are run several times to confirm that the outcome is reproducible and because of experiment-to-experiment variability. The results may be summarized in a column graph, with error bars proportional to the standard deviation in the set of replicate experiments.

Having said that, incompetent usage of graphs and statistical analysis in scientific papers is one of the major complaints of journal editors.

Double check casts doubt on statistics in published papers

A study highlighting statistical gaffes in scientific literature has brought renewed calls for vigilance among mathematically challenged researchers and journal editors.Statistical tests are sometimes seen as a necessary evil by researchers, who fear their complexity but know that they are needed to test hypotheses.

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 04:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely, the exmaple you put is the example I put for graphs in broad audience scienteific journals..

but again.. it seems that the teaching goes to show them how to do the graphs trhemselves, not about how to read them...

then of course.. i would go from basic graphs to mathematical analysis (up to limits, growth, areas and so on). Probably statistical analysis with visual cues is a bit too far for them :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 07:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... in three or four words of English.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 at 09:03:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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