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The original 1812 gerrymander district designed to favor Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry. Elkanah Tisdale

Can math solve the congressional districting problem?

The gerrymandered district has been part of the US political landscape for two centuries. Impartial math suggests several methods for drawing fair, competitive congressional districts.
Australia’s census covers a wide range of topics, including some that are very infrequently covered by other surveys. AAP/Dean Lewins

The census matters – making it less frequent is a risky idea

If reports are to be believed, both the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the federal government are strongly considering moving from a five-year to a ten-year census cycle. This move has been…
Adjusted data from Australian weather stations has been peer-reviewed before. But the government’s new technical panel could still offer useful advice. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Bureau’s weather records to be reviewed again – sure, why not?

The federal government’s new “Technical Advisory Forum” on weather data, announced by parliamentary environment secretary Bob Baldwin last week, will “review and provide advice on Australia’s official…
Oh no – not that mistake again. Flickr/Alex Proimos

The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Understanding what’s being said in any new research can be challenging and there are…
An example of unidirectional cause and effect: bad weather means umbrella sales rise, but buying umbrellas won’t make it rain. Mariusz Olszewski/Flickr

Clearing up confusion between correlation and causation

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Today we look at the dangers of making a link between unrelated results. Here’s an…

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