Knowing Statistics Can Lead You To the Heart of Government

…even to being a key financial Minister in Federal Parliament.

After the recent Australian election, Labor took power. (Hooray!) The new Assistant Minister for Treasury is Andrew Leigh. He’s one of the small team responsible for all things economic and financial, at the heart of Government.

I’ve posted about him before–in 2018 when he published Randomistas, and when he spoke at AIMOS in Melbourne in 2019 (see the highlights para).

Leigh is a Harvard-trained economist and former professor of economics. In Randomistas he argues we should use randomised trials much more often to guide public policy. Imagine, policy guided by high quality evidence! He’s well aware of the replication crisis and Open Science practices needed for trustworthy research.

In his AIMOS talk he discussed replication, His best one-liner: “If at first you DO succeed, try, try and try again.”  Hey, meta-analysis!

Leigh is quoted in a recent interview as saying that he’s probably “the biggest stats nerd” the Australian Bureau of Statistics has had as its minister in its 116-year history. (Nerd can be good!)

It’s a great time for stats nerds and policy makers: First results from the 2021 Australian census are just being released.

Lots of us will be watching anxiously to see how much influence evidence, statistics, and Leigh will have on Labor’s policy making.

Meanwhile, be encouraged–knowing statistics can lead to great things in life.

Geoff

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