Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Friday, May 13, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.

15 medal winners

Grigory Rodchenkov, a doctor who ran Russia’s anti-doping testing laboratory during the Sochi Olympics, has come forward with claims that he provided banned substances to dozens of Russian athletes competing at the games, including 15 medal winners. [The New York Times]

Nearly 40 percent

It appears that psychologists are just as susceptible to psychological tricks as the rest of us: After the Center for Open Science announced that it would award badges to scientific papers that used transparent methods and shared their data, the percentage of such papers appearing in the journal Psychological Science jumped tenfold to nearly 40 percent of papers published. You get a gold star, Center for Open Science. [FiveThirtyEight]


The Brazilian Senate voted 55 to 22 to suspend and impeach President Dilma Rousseff over allegations of manipulating finances. The decision comes shortly before Brazil is set to host the Olympics this summer. [BBC]

$187 million

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold its entire $187 million stake in BP. [The Guardian]

$800 million

The U.S. activated an $800 million ballistic missile defense site in Romania on Thursday. The U.S. and NATO argue that the shield is meant to prevent attacks from rockets originating in Iran, but Russia is peeved. [Reuters]

$63 billion

How much money would be saved in health care costs next year if 1 in 10 U.S. smokers surreptitiously stopped smoking, according to a study from the University of California, San Francisco. [Science News Journal]

If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — you can be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news! How great does that sound? You should totally do it.

And if you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.