Ebola virus [and Mr. Bayes]

Just like after the Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappearance, the current Ebola virus outbreak makes me feel we are sorely missing an emergency statistical force to react on urgent issues… It would indeed be quite valuable to have a team of statisticians at the ready to quantify risks and posterior probabilities and avoid media approximations. The situations calling for this reactive force abound. A few days ago I was reading about the unknown number of missing pro-West activists in Eastern Ukraine. Maybe statistical societies could join forces to set such an emergency team?! Whose goals are somewhat different from the great Statistics without Borders

As a side remark, the above philogeny is taken from Dudas and Rambaut’s recent paper in PLOS reassessing the family tree of the current Ebola virus(es) acting in Guinea. The tree is found using MrBayes, which delivers a posterior probability of 1 to this filiation! And concluding “that the rooting of this clade using the very divergent other ebolavirus species is very problematic.”

One Response to “Ebola virus [and Mr. Bayes]”

  1. France’s own Bureau d’Etudes des Accidents (BEA) did not seem to know a few statisticians lived in France (https://www.informs.org/ORMS-Today/Public-Articles/August-Volume-38-Number-4/In-Search-of-Air-France-Flight-447). At the very least SWB would raise the statistician’s profiles.

    Igor.

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