It’s an exciting time to be doing statistics. You heard me – statistics: exciting.
It often gets a bad rap, but stats is after all at the business end of the research process. When I’ve collaborated on studies of megafauna, leopard seals, police confessions, a new casino game or climate change effects on biodiversity, the point where researchers find out their results and have those “Eureka!” moments is more often than not in front of a computer rather than out in the field.
Now is an especially good time to be a statistician because the technological revolution over the past couple of decades has blown the field wide open – but despite this, some researchers continue to use outdated and inadequate statistical methods.
The sooner we can change this, the better.
David Warton is an ecological statistician in the School of Mathematics and Statistics and the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.