Significance magazine cover

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Only 3% of Americans regularly read magazines; another 9% read them occasionally. Yet the number of magazines in the U.S. numbers 7390. For those of you working in statistics, Significance is a quarterly magazine worth reading. Its tag line is Statistics Making Sense. It does a terrific job of presenting articles that will appeal to the armchair statistician as well as more sophisticated applications for the true specialist.

If you are a magazine buff, you will love the finishes of this magazine: shiny, colorful covers, pages with a weight to them that encourages quality page turning, actual white space on each page where notes can be taken, and very few ads because Content is King! And, ahhhhhh, what content.

The magazine begins with a news section showing how statistics is integrated into current events. The latest edition had short columns titled: Obama and the “climate deniers club”, Big data: big disagreement, That Facebook feeling, and an interesting column titled, Hot city nights that discussed how the use of air conditioning systems drives up the temperature in a city.

There are then 4-6 feature stories including the cover story. One of their most well-read articles was in the April 2014 edition where the cover story was on Crime, Law and Order. Accompanying articles were Gun law and crime or Do tougher laws against carrying concealed weapons lead to fewer murders?, Deterrence and the death penalty: Why the statistics should be ignored, and Joined up justice: Understanding the links between unemployment, benefits and offending. The fact that this is a joint publication of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and the American Statistical Association (ASA) adds another level of interest due to these two countries very different policies on gun ownership.

Almost every edition has Visualisation (the way the Brits spell it), Data mine and Case Study articles. One of my favorite sections is Dr. Fisher’s casebook. I think this is written tongue-in-cheek as if THAT famous Dr. Fisher had opined. In the July 2014 edition, Dr. Fisher discussed how a trip to the lavatories at the British Museum tuned his thoughts to queuing theory. All this and a book review section as well.

Significance bridges the gap between academically juried submissions and making statistics relevant to our current experience. Even if you are part of the 90% that never read magazines, if you are a practitioner or user of statistics, you need to add this magazine to your regular reading.

Subscribe at: http://www.significancemagazine.org/view/subscribe.html. Membership in the RSS or ASA includes a free subscription. For all your statistical hiring needs, please give me a call, Jacque Paige, Executive Recruiter, Smith Hanley Associates, 203-319-4300 or jpaige@smithhanley.com.


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