Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2020.12.23 edition

Vaccine doses, county-level coronavirus tests, social scientists testifying, permafrost, and meat-washing.

Vaccine doses. Our World in Data is tracking the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per country, compiling their dataset from a range of government sources, including press releases and ministers’ tweets. In addition to listing the total doses administered, the US Department of Health and Human Services is also publishing datasets that tally how many Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine doses have been allocated and shipped to each state and territory.

County-level coronavirus tests. The US federal government has finally begun publishing county-level data on COVID-19 test counts, positivity rates, and delays. And that’s just a slice of the information now available through the daily-updated, multi-agency Community Profile Reports, which also assign each county to a “concern category” and aggregate the metrics to the CBSA, state, and regional levels. Related: Ryan Panchadsaram’s enthusiastic Twitter thread.

Social scientists testifying. In a paper published this spring, Mahler et al. describe their dataset of social scientists’ appearances in US congressional hearings — more than 15,000 instances in all, at more than 10,000 hearings between 1946 and 2016. For each testimony, the dataset indicates the expert’s name, discipline, title, and professional affiliations, as well as the hearing’s date, title, and committee. Economists predominate, followed by political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and then anthropologists. [h/t Deblina Mukherjee]

Permafrost. The European Space Agency has released new longitudinal data on the Northern Hemisphere’s permafrost — ground that remains 0°C/32°F or colder for at least two years. Through a combination of satellite detection and on-the-ground measurements, the datasets quantify the permafrost’s thickness, extent, and temperature between 1997 and 2017. [h/t Simon Proud]

Who washes meat? YouTuber (and former public radio reporter) Adam Ragusea recently asked his viewers to answer a detailed survey about whether (and why, and how) they wash meat before cooking it. He received more than 13,000 responses. He then made a video about what he found and published a spreadsheet of the anonymized answers.