Report from the 2016 Voice of the Future event in Parliament

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features-OLD

Members of the Royal Statistical Society's Young Statisticians Section (YSS) committee, Janette McQuillan and Maria Sudell, attended this year's annual Voice of the Future event, which was held in Parliament on Tuesday 1 March.

Below, Janette and Maria talk about their experience of the event, and what was discussed with the Government chief scientific advisor Sir Mark Walport and MPs from the Science and Technology Committee. The event also featured a link-up with Tim Peake from the International Space Station.

Bean Review calls for excellence in UK economic statistics

Written by Olivia Varley-Winter on . Posted in Features-OLD

The final report of Professor Sir Charles Bean’s Independent Review of Economic Statistics - published on 12 March 2016 - follows in the footsteps of other reviews of various aspects of economic statistics.

However, where it differs from those previously published is the extent to which it considers the challenges of statistical measurement in the modern economy. It takes the measurement of GDP as an example:

Teaching statistics through visualisation: An interview with Professor Chris Wild

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Encouraging more people to think like a statistician underpins much of the work that the Royal Statistical Society does. It is also a goal of Chris Wild, a professor of statistics at the University of Auckland, whose work in statistical education has attracted interest far beyond his home country of New Zealand. His department’s free-to-access, massive online open course (MOOC), An Introduction to Data Analysis, was first launched in October 2014 and was so successful that it’s now running for a second year.

The course aims to ‘teach students how to find the stories told by statistical data’ as well as understanding the limitations of data and how to avoid being misled. It uses visualisation to aid understanding and throughout the eight weeks (3 hours per week) students can go from very little experience with statistical ideas and concepts to someone who ‘thinks like a statistician’.

Reflections on using statistics to better understand our world: an interview with Jil Matheson

Written by Oz Flanagan on . Posted in Features-OLD

Jil Matheson has spent over 30 years in official statistics, beginning as a graduate trainee in the then Office for Population Census and Surveys (which merged with the Central Statistical Office to become ONS), and ending with her five year tenure as national statistician. Since retiring, she has remained engaged with how statistics reach us every day. One of the new challenges she recently took on is to chair an independent panel to examine how the BBC treats statistics on behalf of the BBC Trust.

Teaching statistics and data in schools: A look ahead at 2016

Written by Scott Keir on . Posted in Features-OLD

A new year offers the chance to take stock of what’s been, and look ahead at what’s to come, both for our work at the Society, and the wider landscape.

Two big areas for school education in 2016 in England* are the continuing changes to the education system and teacher supply. Here’s how we are planning to contribute.

Event report - The Bean review of economic statistics open meeting

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In the last budget, chancellor George Osborne gave Sir Charlie Bean the task of undertaking a review of the UK’s economic statistics. The proposal was triggered by concerns about the difficulties in measuring productivity accurately in a modern economy and an independent review was thus commissioned by the chancellor of the quality, delivery and governance of the UK's economic statistics.

The call for evidence in the review had just finished and Sir Charlie attended a meeting at the RSS last month (September 2015) to discuss his remit and listen to what others had to say about the current status of economic statistics. Sir Charlie was asked to compile the review on account of his 14 years on the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England where he was also deputy governor.

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