Peter Donnelly Peter Donnelly Keynotes

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This Peter Donnelly Keynote Shows the Downside to Probability

 - May 8, 2012
References: & youtube
The misinterpretation of statistics and the unfortunate consequences this can generate is discussed in this Peter Donelly keynote. Donnelly begins is speech by demonstrating the common mistakes people make when it comes to probability. He then draws various parallels between genetics and probability, showing how many doctors and statisticians use statistics to determine the types of individuals susceptible to different diseases.

He then applies these concepts and findings to a criminal trial in Britain during which a mother of two children was wrongfully prosecuted for murder. Because of the way one pediatrician interpreted the statistics surrounding cot death -- also known as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) -- this woman was found guilty of murder, when in fact, she was not. Donnelly's keynote demonstrates the closely connected relationship between science and society in the world today.