Ask a statistician: What are the chances of World War III?

In the second instalment of our new 'Ask A Statistician' column, Peter McIntyre, a pharmaceutical worker from Essex asks: "The twentieth century witnessed two of the bloodiest conflicts in human history, so what are the chances that World War III will occur this century?"

Two years ago, the UN called for a 'data revolution'. How far have we come?

Today is World Statistics Day - a chance to celebrate and showcase diverse applications of data, and how the work of statisticians is helping to improve lives. The October 2015 issue of Significance features several such articles, including the following piece from Claire Melamed, the director for poverty and inequality at the Overseas Development Institute. Two years after a United Nations report called for a "data revolution", Melamed takes stock of how close we have come to achieving that goal.

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Politics is broken: The Guardian’s Alberto Nardelli on the fragmentation of party support

It’s almost the end of party conference season in the UK – a time in which political leaders take stock of the past, propose grand visions for the future and throw policy ideas through the ringer of debate and discussion. Party bigwigs talk about opportunities, of course, and challenges too. And one of the biggest challenges they face is the fragmented nature of modern politics. 

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Where is Donald Trump’s statistician?

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States, he included a racist insult directed at those citizens who came to the US from Mexico. Apart from his words being abhorrent, it’s also a baffling strategy to follow for a candidate looking to reach the White House in the 21st century.

Electoral bias in the UK after the general election

After the shock result of the UK’s 2015 general election, one could forgive Labour and Conservative supporters for thinking that things could hardly get worse for the former party, or better for the latter. But the worst/best was, it turns out, yet to come. Hidden in the election results is a dramatic change, not just in the parties’ fortunes but also in how the very electoral system treats them. For Labour, things are worse than the election result itself might suggest, and for the Conservatives, the future is rosier.

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