CSPI Podcast: How to Think about Stats

On this week’s podcast, Richard talks to Philippe Lemoine, a Research Fellow at CSPI and a PhD candidate in philosophy at Cornell University. He recently wrote a blog post called “Lockdowns, econometrics and the art of putting lipstick on a pig,” where he takes apart a paper on the effects of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions. Richard and Philippe discuss what's wrong with this paper and what it reveals about academia and the incentives scholars face more generally. They also explore when and under what circumstances one should trust statistical analysis.

Philippe’s post was recently discussed by Columbia statistician Andrew Gelman. You can listen to the episode here, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.