Think of a number, then double it
More than 25,000 animals including fish have died during research and teaching at the University of Otago since 2009, and the figures are expected to increase significantly when statistics are collated for 2011.
No, really? Going from a two-year total to a three-year total will result in an increase?
We collect multiple years of data for two main reasons: to compute averages (reducing statistical noise) and to compute differences (to learn about trends). Computing totals across multiple years is rarely helpful.
The Otago Daily Times does a better job: it uses the multiple years of data to give trends
Animal use by different groups in New Zealand has dropped by 29% during a three-year period from a record high of 341,520 recorded in 2008.
The number of animals being used for research purposes by universities in 2010 has dropped 43% from a high of 123,739 in 2008.
Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. See all posts by Thomas Lumley »