BCSE Revealed

... and statistics

(This article was originally published on my blog in February 2007).

What would a real "Centre for Science Education" like talking about? And what do the BCSE like talking about?

Well, you should always take statistics with a pinch of salt. Statistics might answer a question... but are they answering the question you thought they were answering? When I read in my newspaper that 75% of people from Ipswich eat corn-flakes, is that because living in Ipswich makes you like corn-flakes, or because eating corn-flakes makes you want to live in Ipswich, or is there something else that causes you to want to do both... or neither?

(Disclaimer: I have no idea how many people living in Ipswich eat corn-flakes).

With that in mind, I thought I'd run a few primitive scans of the BCSE wiki, which contains about 180 pages. How many lines within it will contain certain key-words? (Words appearing twice within the same line only count once).

1. Significant figures / institutions

(As well as the words on the labels, I used associate words - Darwinism as well as Darwin, etc. This is true for all the graphs.)

2. Concepts

3. Subject Areas

(That's actually a dead heat on the top two.)

Make of that what you will!

David Anderson

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