What is the most popular birthday in England and Wales?

Written by Mario Cortina Borja and Peter Martin on . Posted in Social Sciences

The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published an analysis of live births from 1995 to 2014 and concluded that, in England and Wales, 26 September was “the most popular day to be born over the last two decades”. The ONS points out that September, more generally, is the period in the year with a seasonal peak in the number of births. It is not difficult to establish the cause of this phenomenon: a seasonal peak of conceptions around Christmas time.

Why don’t people get it? Seven ways that communicating risk can fail

Written by Rod Lamberts on . Posted in Social Sciences

Many public conversations we have about science-related issues involve communicating risks: describing them, comparing them and trying to inspire action to avoid or mitigate them. Just think about the ongoing stream of news and commentary on health, alternative energy, food security and climate change. Good risk communication points out where we are doing hazardous things. It helps us better navigate crises. It also allows us to pre-empt and avoid danger and destruction. 

How sharp was the decline in live births in Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of communist regimes?

Written by Jekaterina Kremneva, Angie Wade and Mario Cortina Borja on . Posted in Social Sciences

December 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). This cataclysmic event demolished the planned economy and totalitarian state regimes and led to independence for its member states. Other communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) outside the USSR followed similar paths.

Ask a statistician: A variation of the birthday problem

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Social Sciences

Alec Campbell of Bellevue College writes: I’ve read about the birthday problem, and how you only need 23 randomly chosen people for there to be a 50% chance that two people share a birthday. But how many people would you need for there to be a 50% chance that every possible birthday is represented by at least one person?

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