Stephen Ziliak

Ziliak Claims Higgs Boson Is “Junk Science”

by Phillip Witteveen July 11, 2013

“I want to believe as much as the next person that particle physicists have discovered a Higgs boson, the so-called ‘God particle’”, writes author Stephen Ziliak in an op-ed appearing in a recent Financial Post. “But so far I do not buy the statistical claims being made about the discovery.” Ziliak is talking about the last remaining theorized particle in quantum physics. It’s only now that scientists claim to have actually discovered one. The problem the ‘discovery’ raises with Ziliak, an economist, is not with the particle itself, but with the means used to find it—namely, the fact that the claim is based […]

Read more

‘Cult of Statistical Significance’ quoted on Slate; elsewhere, the authors continue the discussion

by Shaun Manning October 5, 2012

In an article entitled “The Internet Blowhard’s Favorite Phrase” (also published as “Stop Saying That Correlation Does Not Imply Causation”), Slate writer Daniel Engber ponders how “a stats-class admonition become so misused and so widespread” as “the statistical cliché that closes threads and ends debates.” “No, correlation does not imply causation, but it sure as hell provides a hint,” Engber said. Citing a recent study linking internet usage to depression–which, predictably, elicited the correlation/causation response online–Engber explained that that the lack of a definitive cause-effect relationship does not make the observation meaningless. “Does email make a man depressed? Does sadness make […]

Read more

Citing Recent Court Cases, Professor Praises U-M Press Title

by Shaun Manning December 6, 2011

In a recent blog post considering high court decisions in the United States and Britain, Michael Smithson, Professor of Psychology and Decision Sciences at Australia National University, called Stephen T. Ziliak and Deidre N. McCloskey’s Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives “a swinging demolition of the unquestioned application of statistical significance in a variety of domains.” Like Ziliak and McCloskey, Dr. Smithson notes that there are meaningful applications of statistical significance, but context is important–what is being measured, what is the sample size, and what a non-significance finding might actually mean are […]

Read more

Economist blog quotes UM Press author in billion-dollar cold medicine case

by University of Michigan Press January 24, 2011

A letter from author Stephen Ziliak has been quoted extensively in The Economist’s View blog posted by Mark Thoma, in regards to the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court on November 12, 2010. Ziliak’s brief claims that the very popular cold and flu relief medication, Zicam, has been found to cause users to permanently lose their sense of smell. The amicus brief filed by Ziliak is regarded with high importance, and “it is said to be one of the top ten cases of the year as the Court’s decision has general and large implications for liability, regulation, and reporting […]

Read more

“The Cult of Statistical Significance” authors challenge cold medicine makers’ math in Supreme Court case

by Trade Marketing December 28, 2010

In supposedly one of the top ten cases of the Supreme Court this year, authors of The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives, Stephen T. Ziliak and Deirdre N. McCloskey have filed a case involving Zicam, a common cold medicine from Matrixx which evidently causes users to permanently lose their sense of smell. The case will have general and large implications for liability, regulation and the Securities Exchange Commission. In addition, at least two of the other briefs filed for this case cite Ziliak and McCloskey (2008) to support their argument against […]

Read more