Statistics workshop for DC science writers August 11

19 July 2016

WHAT: Interactive workshop covering key ideas and statistical concepts relevant to Earth science writers led by Regina Nuzzo, Ph.D., Gallaudet University, statistician, science journalist, and advisory board member.

WHERE: American Geophysical Union headquarters, 2000 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

WHEN: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Thursday, August 11, 2016        

  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm: Welcome reception. Meet and mingle with other science writers and local Earth and space scientists. Dinner and drinks will be provided.
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Workshop

COST: Free

DETAILS: Journalists are increasingly called upon to interpret data, in formats ranging from biomedical studies to environmental reports. Knowing the right questions to ask about the data is important, as is recognizing the pitfalls of poor data collection and analysis, and knowing how to be scientifically skeptical about conclusions drawn from such data.

On August 11, AGU, in partnership with, Sense About Science USA, and the DC Science Writers Association will offer a short, interactive workshop covering the key ideas and statistical concepts relevant to Earth science writers. The evening will end with a short group exercise to help participants implement some of the ideas discussed earlier in the day.

The workshop may include some (though not all, due to time constraints) of the following common concepts often misunderstood or misrepresented:

  • Mean and median
  • Modeling
  • p-values and p-hacking
  • Descriptive vs inferential statistics
  • Effect size
  • Uncertainty & Bayesian approaches
  • Confounding factors
  • Study design
  • Causation versus correlation
  • Ways data analysis can go wrong
  • Properties of randomness
  • Odds ratios and other measures of risk
  • Relative vs absolute change and risk

REGISTER: To register for the workshop, please go to:

Once you have registered, please take a short survey on the topics you would like to cover at the workshop. If you have specific questions or study/report examples you would like to tackle, please include these as well.

Attendance is limited to 25 individuals; register now to reserve your spot!


The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 60,000 members in 139 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and our other social media channels.

Sense About Science USA is a nonprofit (501c3) based in Brooklyn, New York; we are funded by foundations and do not accept corporate or industry money. Our mission is to create and curate a national conversation about the value of scientific progress and the importance of evidence and transparency. In collaboration with the American Statistical Association, aims to increase statistical understanding and coverage in the media by providing workshops, public lectures, and free statistics and mathematics advice for journalists from an advisory board of statisticians.

The DC Science Writers Association is the largest independent regional science writing association in the country. Its members include writers and editors from nearly all the major news outlets in the Washington, D.C. area, public information officers from agencies and institutions, and freelancers. DCSWA’s activities focus on events that bring science writers and communicators together for socializing, networking and professional development.

AGU Contact:

Lauren Lipuma
+1 (202) 777-7396
[email protected] Contact
Neda Afsarmanesh
+1 (909) 518-6166
[email protected]