Book Club: Everything you need to know to understand, and fact check, data claims

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The pandemic has placed us all in a crash course on health claims, science and data – what we know and what we don’t know. It can be confusing and scary. The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data by David Spiegelhalter is here to help. The book describes how statistics and probability can solve today’s big problems. Page 1 starts with Why We Need Statistics. Making sense of health claims and balancing the potential and risks of big data makes basic statistics literacy essential. It’s not a how-to but gives the foundations of valid analysis, how to spot them, and why they matter. Chapter 12 – How Things Go Wrong – is worth the time to get to it. Chapter 13 finishes the book with How We Can Do Statistics Better. You don’t need a degree in math to read it — there’s very little in there. The concepts aren’t always simple but they are important and well-explained.