Statistical Literacy as the Earth Moves

Chris J. Wild

“The Times They Are a-Changin’” says the old Bob Dylan song. But it is not just
the times that are a-changin’. For statistical literacy, the very earth is moving under
our feet (apologies to Carole King). The seismic forces are (i) new forms of
communication and discourse and (ii) new forms of data, data display and human
interaction with data. These upheavals in the worlds of communication and data are
ongoing. If anything, the pace of change is accelerating. And with it, what it means to
be statistically literate is also changing. So how can we tell what is important? We
will air some enduring themes and guiding principles.