February 21, 2014

Stats Chat’s Thomas Lumley now Listener columnist

Congratulations to statschat.org.nz’s Thomas Lumley, Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland, who as of today is a new columnist for the venerable New Zealand Listener (in the edition dated March 1-7; its cover story is the third anniversary of the fatal Christchurch earthquake). Stats Chat staffers are delighted that we now have another way to target stats crimes and shed some light on statistics in the media every day.

The introductory blurb on the Listener’s Letters is below (complete with evidence that Julie can’t make a straight scan):

thomas 1

And Thomas’ his first column asks this question: How much of the difference between women’s and men’s wages is a result of individual choice? Have a read of Closing the gap.


Atakohu Middleton is an Auckland journalist with a keen interest in the way the media uses/abuses data. She happens to be married to a statistician. See all posts by Atakohu Middleton »


  • avatar
    Siouxsie Wiles

    Woohoo! Congrats Thomas.

    4 years ago

  • avatar
    Neil Marshall

    Congrats Thomas….and I enjoyed the column. My wife and I had different views when reading it…and what about the impact of extended full or part time leave for raising children on pay rates? Many pay scales depend on years of service and this disadvantages the main caregiver (of either sex).

    4 years ago

    • avatar
      Thomas Lumley

      Yes, I didn’t have room to talk about the impact of caregiving in any detail, but I think it has an effect that’s somewhat similar to choice of career — ie, you can think of care for one’s own kids as another low-pay female-majority occupation.

      As the proportion of fathers doing substantial amounts of childcare increases, I wouldn’t be surprised if the penalties for extended family leave become smaller, though counter-pressure from people without children might stop that happening.

      4 years ago