Pfizer Colloquium (in the wild)

I met Stephen Fienberg (not to be confused with Steve Feinberg) today at the Pfizer Colloquim.

This morning he met with all of the grad students, and we got to ask him questions. Somehow we got onto the topic of the flu vaccine and it’s safety, which led to him talking about the link between autism and the M/M/R vaccine. He explained that one paper published in Britain found a link between autism and the M/M/R vaccine when controlling FOR NO OTHER FACTORS. Since then, countless other studies have been unable to find this link. However, Thimerosal, a vaccine preservative, has since been removed from the M/M/R vaccine and the reported number of autism cases continues to rise. This seems to be clear evidence that Thiomersal was not causing Autism. Here is an article about that very subject: Autism Cases Still Going Up As Vaccine Mercury Removed.

Later, he gave a talk where he spoke about his career. The vast array of applied work he has done over his career is just amazing. One topic he spoke about was some work he did for the department of energy about the accuracy of polygraphs which led him to write this book. Applications like these where statistics is applied to real problems in the real world is what this blog is about.

John Tukey once said, “The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard.” Stephen Fienberg added tonight, “and we get to take their toy’s home with us.”


Posted on October 29, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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