A fool’s gold (or data) mine

Quants are building statistical toolkits to avoid the pitfalls of data mining

Empirical science is reeling. In the past five years, in fields from biomedicine to social psychology, top journals have upended canonical studies by showing their results cannot be reproduced.

A review of 100 major psychology studies, for instance, found only 36% had statistical significance. Over half the alien planets identified by Nasa’s Kepler telescope turned out to be stars. And in preclinical cancer research, a mere six out of 53 breakthrough studies were found to be reproducible.


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