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The Sceptical Data Scientist

YOW! Data 2019

More and more decisions are data driven now - and that’s awesome! Much better than ideologically driven, or personality driven, or “whatever mood management’s in today” driven. But it does mean we want to be confident of our analyses. And there’s a tendency to have deep faith in data science. “Look! I did a calculation! It must be true!” Numbers don’t lie. And maths is reliable.

But so much depends on the questions we ask, how we ask them, and how we test those results.

So how do we create a generation of sceptical data scientists? Whose first approach to a result is to challenge it. To try to disprove it.

We need to give them confidence in their skills, but teach them to doubt their own work.

Linda McIver

Executive Director

Australian Data Science Education Instute


Dr Linda McIver started out as an Academic with a PhD in Computer Science Education. When it became apparent that High School teaching was a lot more fun, Linda began a highly successful career at John Monash Science School, where she built innovative courses in Computational and Data Science for year 10 and year 11 students.

Nominated one of the inaugural Superstars of STEM in 2017, Linda is passionate about creating authentic project experiences to motivate all students to become technologically and data literate.

While Linda loves the classroom, it was rapidly becoming clear that teachers in the Australian School system were keen to embrace Data Science, but that there was a serious lack of resources to support that. That’s why Linda created ADSEI – to support Data Science in education.