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August 18, 1989

News & Numbers: A Guide to Reporting Statistical Claims and Controversies in Health and Other Fields

JAMA. 1989;262(7):962. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430070110050

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Why tell physicians and other medical scientists about a book written for journalists?

For one reason, this is one of the more interesting books that probably ever has been written about statistics. The reader who knows almost nothing about statistics will find it a painless introduction to the field.

For another, this little book may be a milestone. That is, science writers are finding that their subject matter is becoming more complex by the day. This is particularly true for those who report about medical science. And here we have what might be the start of an interesting trend—a science writer collaborating with experts in a technical field to produce a practical little manual to which fellow journalists can turn for on-the-job assistance.

Finally, for those in the medical world who may find themselves the subject of journalistic interest, the book offers some insight into the questions that may be