Blog Home

ASA at 175 - CHANCE magazine

By Ronald Wasserstein - March 23, 2014

As mentioned in the March 20 ASA at 175 blog, the American Statistical Association publishes two outreach magazines. Today we’ll focus on the older of the two, CHANCE, which has been published since 1988. As noted on its website, "the magazine is designed for anyone who has an interest in the analysis of data, informally highlighting sound statistical practice.?CHANCE is not a technical magazine, but rather a cultural record of an evolving field, intended to entertain as well as inform."

In an interview in CHANCE, the founders of the magazine, Bill Eddy and Steve Fienberg, detail its history. They envisioned the magazine from the start as a vehicle for outreach beyond the statistics community. In the interview, Fienberg says: "What statistics needed was a publication about statistics that could be read by statisticians and others. What others? Science writers and reporters were a category we talked about. Students of statistics, of course. But I also wanted my parents to be able to read what was in such a magazine. In fact, I remember taking inspiration from Fred Mosteller’s claim that the essays for Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown—the wonderful volume he edited with Judy Tanur and others—were supposed to be written at a technical level for his mother."

CHANCE has grown and evolved over its 25+ years, but it still retains that flavor developed by its founders. A quick look at a recent issue (February 2014) illustrates the type of variety of articles CHANCE brings to its readers:

At the outset, CHANCE was published by Springer, but within a few years it became a partnership between Springer and the ASA, and remained that way through 2011. Since 2012, the magazine is wholly owned by the ASA, and is published in conjunction with Taylor and Francis.

Scott Evans is the current executive editor of CHANCE, and leads an outstanding editorial board. Scott is the latest in a long series of distinguished editors, which, to Eddy and Fienberg, includes, in chronological order John E. Rolph, George P.H. Styan, Hal S. Stern, Dalene Stangl, Michael Lavine, Michael Larsen, and Sam Behseta.

ASA communications staff, led by Megan Murphy, produces the print version of the magazine as well as an online version. Taylor and Francis prints and distributes the hard copy and produces a replica of the print version online for non-members of the ASA. ASA’s online version of CHANCE is available to all ASA members.

To subscribe, please go to

You can help the ASA’s outreach efforts with CHANCE and Significance, in several ways. Contributing articles to them is supremely helpful. Sharing copies with non-statistical colleagues and friends is valuable as well. Both magazines make lovely gifts!

In 2014, the American Statistical Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary. Over the course of this year, this blog will highlight aspects of that celebration, and look broadly at the ASA and its activities. Please contact ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein ( if you would like to post an entry to this blog.


Blog Home