In Rio, the RSS held a stand in the exhibition area of WSC (pictured), which ran from 26-31 July 2015. The aim was to promote the work of the Society internationally and reach out to potential members from the 1,500+ who attended the conference. The Society also held a member reception as an opportunity for around 30 members and associates to meet informally midway through the week, and attended a number of meetings with ISI representatives to discuss issues such as statistical capacity building for developing countries.
Conference highlights included the Karl Pearson lecture, delivered by Scott Zeger, winner of this year’s Karl Pearson Prize (as reported in StatsLife) and the President’s Invited Keynote Lecture by Hal Varian, chief economist at Google. A report of WSC can be read in full on the ISI website (PDF); the next ISI conference in 2017 will take place in Marrakech.
The RSS also hosted a stand and member reception in August at JSM as well as holding an Ordinary Meeting as an invited session. RSS president Peter Diggle attended both events. ‘For me, it was a mix of old friends and new,’ he said of the reception. Attendance at the Ordinary Meeting was healthy, with at least 70 present. The paper, by Neils Keiding and Tom Louis (pictured with Peter), addressed the important and wide-ranging question of whether (and if so, with what caveats) non-randomised epidemiological or social surveys can deliver useful inferences. According to Peter Diggle, ‘the presentation, floor discussion and written contributions were excellent - including some that upheld the RSS tradition of the open expression of differences of opinion.’
He concluded: ‘JSM is a large, heterogeneous conference – qualities that have good and bad connotations according to whom you ask – but my overall impression as a JSM novice is that the RSS can, and should, strengthen its involvement in what must be by some distance the biggest annual conference of statisticians worldwide.’