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Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture

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Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture

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Statistical predictions are always true (and that's why they are not about me)

Where: St Mary's University, Twickenham, Senior Common Room When: Thursday 26th February, 2015, 5.15 - 6.45pm Contact: For more information please contact marije.altorf@stmarys.ac.uk. This lecture is free and open to all members of the public without registration. About Speaker: Dr Ardo van den Hout is lecturer in statistics at the Department of Statistical Science, University College London. In the Netherlands, he studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Nijmegen and completed a PhD in social statistics at the University of Utrecht in 2004. Previously he worked in the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge. His philosophical interest is in epistemology of mathematics. His work in statistics is on methods for longitudinal data analysis and multi-state models, with applications in ageing research. His publications can be found journals such as Statistical Modelling, Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, Statistics in Medicine, and Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C. Abstract: Predictions based on sound statistics always include uncertainty and are therefore hard to falsify. Furthermore, a statistical statement is based on a model which is assumed to be descriptive for a population. Statistical models are abstractions. As a consequence statements based on statistical models are not really about concrete individual entities - like you or me. With the growing importance of statistics, it becomes of interest to understand the essence of statistical statements and to explore what kind of errors can be made when using statistics.

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