Science

We’re not getting any younger! Or should that be “older”?

life stages

As state pension age in the United Kingdom continues to rise, retirement seems to be getting further and further away for many people. This brings up the question of what happens after retirement. Does the rise in pension age take away from our years of retirement, or do we also see an increase in the number of years of retirement? I decided to look at life expectancy data from the World Bank to find out if changes in pension age are in line with changes in life expectancy.

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How ideas from decision theory can help guide our actions

windows and doors

The UK is currently experiencing an infection wave following the co-occurrence of the highly transmissible Delta variant and the relaxation of social distancing measures. Opinions were divided on the wisdom of the decision to relax all social distancing rules in England from 19 July. Without taking a view on the policy, as statisticians we can ask how this decision was made – and in particular, whether a systems view was taken.

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Misinterpreting statistical anomalies and risk assessment when analysing Covid-19 deaths by ethnicity

coronavirus silhouette

Imagine there is a country called Bayesland that is divided into two distinct geographical areas – North Bayesland and South Bayesland – with equal population sizes. The country has been struck with a new, novel, infectious disease called P-STAT. Statistics reveal that the death rate for this disease for Southerners is twice that of the death rate for Northerners in each different age category (Table 1).

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Using Zipf’s law to help understand Covid-19

coronavirus blocks

The Covid-19 pandemic is a rapidly moving challenge. As countries and states scramble to meet this challenge in different ways, it can be difficult to follow and understand the data. Epidemiologists build models that incorporate a number of factors. But these are complex and must be updated as the data evolve.

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Covid-19 tweets analysis for human emotion detection

phone sketch

Social media is a place for people to share their feelings, concerns, questions, and opinions. This is as true during the Covid-19 pandemic as it has been at any other time since Twitter, Facebook and other similar services came into existence. But the things people talk about during the pandemic are likely to be different to what they talk about in normal times. After all, at various points throughout 2020, people have been forced to stay at home in the interests of public health, schools have temporarily closed, family and friends have been kept apart, and many individuals have lost their jobs or sources of income.

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