Selected Writing

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Under construction.
See the CV for a complete list.

‘So what exactly is a p-value?’ That’s the number-one question I get from non-scientists when they hear my specialty is …

Bite marks, shoe prints, crime-scene fibers: Matches to suspects are often far shakier than courtroom experts claim. Better statistical …

Theodore W. Anderson, a statistician whose work brought a new mathematical rigor to economics and social science in the postwar years …

Humans are remarkably good at self-deception. But growing concern about reproducibility is driving many researchers to seek ways to …

Psychology researchers have recently found themselves engaged in a bout of statistical soul-searching. In apparently the first such …

Working out probabilities is just simple maths, right? Wrong – from drug trials to court cases, being Bayesian or frequentist can make …

P values, the ‘gold standard’ of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume.

Upcoming & Recent Talks & Workshops

Under construction.
See the CV for a complete list.

The NTTS series, New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics (NTTS) is an international biennial scientific conference series, …

Expert science communicators have over the years developed a bag of tools and tricks for engaging with audiences over technical …

This talk discusses a new model of engagement: human-centered quantitative communication.

This workshop covers strategies for communicating statistical information in quantitative research.

Areas of Interest

Fooling Ourselves in Research

As Richard Feynman said, ‘The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.’

P-values: what are they, what aren’t they, why can’t we understand them, how do we abuse and misuse them, and why are they so important to modern science?

Human-Centered Quantitative Communication

The future is in data communication. Science communication is already a thing – but communicating statistics is much, much harder.

The science behind mating, dating, and sex.



I started tutoring when I was 13 and haven’t really stopped since. As a graduate student I was involved in TA training and co-taught a stats course in the med school. As a professor I’ve taught a variety of courses, from freshman intro stats to applied stats for clinical psychology doctoral students. I love creative approaches to teaching. These days I’m mostly using a flipped-classroom approach with just-in-time teaching, plus multi-stage cooperative exams.

Science Journalism

I’m a graduate of the University of California-Santa Cruz science writing program and have been a freelance science journalist since 2006. I’ve written about everything from humans’ head lice to horses’ nasal breathing strips, from the neuroimaging of criminal recidivism to the neuroscience of orgasms, from penises to p-values. My latest project involved teaming up with an artist to develop an illustrated feature about statistical issues in forensic science.

Stats Speaker

I’ve given more than three dozen talks on p-values, cognitive biases during the research process, quantitative communication, and what journalists need to know about statistics. In May 2018 I gave a keynote at the American Association for Public Opinion Research conference, and in August I gave a plenary at the American Psychological Association convention. In March 2019 I will give a keynote at Eurostat’s New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics conference in Brussels.


My Ph.D. is in statistics, and I love how stats is both the gas pedal and the brake in the scientific progress machine. Most people think of statistics as just numbers, or formulas, or maybe even methods – but I see statistics as a philosophy and outlook on the world.


I try to give my students and the journalists I consult for an appreciation for mucking around in the data. I’m enthusiastic about modern tools for teaching data analysis, and I use R Notebooks for teaching whenever I can.

Bionic Human

I use a cochlear implant, which I’ve affectionately named “Tiny,” short for “Tiny Brain Computer.” Without it, I’m deaf. I got Tiny as an adult, after I’d already been missing a sizeable chunk of my hearing since birth. So my brain has had to learn how to hear many sounds for the first time. Adult neuroplasticity is amazing. Curious? You can read some descriptions here.