Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Statistical leadership, part IV: the world needs you

Read this, even if you are not a statistician. Go on, I'll be here when you get back.

This article was adapted from Roger Hoerl's excellent Deming Lecture at the Joint Statistical Meetings in 2011. This is a call to action, of course, but a call to something even deeper. In a time when we are running very short on critical thinking, we need more people to think critically and speak up. Critical thought, of course, implies more than just speaking against something (the status quo, proposed solutions, or other object of thought), but rather seeking a deeper understanding of the problems that face us, and what the most effective solutions are. In this imperfect world of tradeoffs, we have to understand the impact of solutions and of solving problems.

This is a call to understand our world, and to make it better. (The former does not necessarily precede the latter.)