I spent a week earlier this month at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM)—an annual convocation of “data scientists”, as some of these number crunchers now deem themselves. But most statisticians remain ‘old school’ as evidenced by this quote:
“Some time during the past couple of years, statistics became data sciences older, more boring sibling that always played by the rules.”
– Nathan Yau*
I tend to agree—being suspicious of changes in titles as a cover for shenanigans. It seems to me that “data science” provides a smoke screen to take unwarranted leaps from shaky numbers. As the shirt sold at JSM by American Statistical Association (ASA) says, “friends don’t let friends extrapolate.”
*Incorrectly attributed initially (my mistake) to Carnegie Mellon statistics professor Cosma Shalizi, who was credited by Yau for speaking up on this subject.