The Selfish Dataome
Does the data we produce serve us, or vice versa?
Cancer Isn’t a Logic Problem
A year ago, Joe Biden launched his “cancer moonshot,” a major national push to improve the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer, a plan that was widely recognized to be incremental. “I believe that we need an absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it,” Biden said while he was on his tour to cancer […]
Your Study Has Been Retracted
We are retracting your study. I wanted you to know before the announcement. What’s the problem? There are anomalies in your data. Is that bad? Not if you can explain them. Hang on, let me Google “anomalies.” It appears you faked some of the data. I prefer to say we “enhanced” it. What? We are […]
Mumbling Isn’t a Sign of Laziness—It’s a Clever Data-Compression Trick
Many of us have been taught that pronouncing vowels indistinctly and dropping consonants are symptoms of slovenly speech, if not outright disregard for the English language. The Irish playwright St. John Ervine viewed such habits as evidence that some speakers are “weaklings too languid and emasculated to speak their noble language with any vigor.” If […]
Five Ways to Lie with Charts
Want to spin your data? Here’s how.
Big Sky, Big Data: Art Made From Atmospheric Science
Many common air pollutants—ozone, various sulfur oxides, and even some particulate matter among them—are completely invisible to the eye. How interesting, then, that the EPA and other environmental organizations around the world, use color scales to communicate information about air quality. The US Air Quality Index, for instance, starts at green, meaning good air quality, moves […]
Hearing Hadrons, and Doing Research by Ear
Animation of data from collisions at the LHCCERN Several years ago, particle physicist Lily Asquith was hanging out with a few musician pals in London after a band rehearsal, doing impromptu impersonations of what she thought the various elementary particles might sound like, and encouraging the drummer to recreate them electronically. Another band member asked […]