David Spiegelhalter on being RSS president

Written by David Spiegelhalter on . Posted in Features

Our president writes about what the role has entailed for him since taking up his presidency at the beginning of 2017.

I’ve been RSS President for nearly six months, and it’s been a fascinating experience. Although I’ve been a member of the Society for around 40 years, I never really had much of an idea of all the things it got up to, and I’ve been amazed at the extraordinary breadth of activities, from the familiar planning of events, to preparation of submissions to parliamentary inquiries. 

Critical thinking and stats literacy are the answers to a post-truth age

Written by Hetan Shah on . Posted in Features

RSS executive director Hetan Shah explores the concepts of 'post-truth' and 'fake news' and what can be done to improve the quality of public debate in this forthcoming UK election and beyond.

We are apparently in a world of post-truth. The election of President Trump across the pond, and EU referendum campaign have convinced many that truth is under attack in a way never seen before. What does this all mean for the unexpected General Election campaign we are now in?

Trust deficit could hinder efforts to use data for good

Written by Hetan Shah on . Posted in Features

RSS executive director Hetan Shah explains why the Royal Statistical Society is pushing for a Council for Data Ethics, which could develop new frameworks for data governance and rebalance the current 'data trust deficit'

We live in a fast-changing landscape of digital data. Algorithms, big data, data science, machine learning, the internet of things and smart cities—to cite just the most recent trends—are changing policy, business and daily life.

From Bill to Royal Assent: Our work on the Digital Economy Act

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

The RSS pressed for greater provision around data sharing for statistics and research in the Digital Economy Act as it passed through both Houses of Parliament. Here we explain how the RSS influenced Parliament in respect of this major and highly complex piece of legislation.

The RSS has played an important role in influencing the way new legislation relating to statistics and research has been formed in the UK’s new Digital Economy Act, which was finally rubber-stamped by Parliament on 27 April 2017.

Teaching statistics in Africa: Volunteering for AIMS-Tanzania

Written by Nancy Duong Nguyen on . Posted in Features

The RSS campaign to send statisticians to teach MSc students in Africa is about to send another of our fellows to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) centre in Tanzania. Nancy Duong Nguyen, who recently finished her PhD in Statistics at University College Dublin, explains what motivated her to volunteer for the scheme before she makes her six-week trip to AIMS-Tanzania.

In the first year of my PhD, I had the pleasure of listening to Jonathan Rougier (Bristol) and Peter Diggle (Lancaster) discuss their interesting projects in Africa. Along with other students at the Academy for PhD Training in Statistics, I was fascinated (and amused) with Professor Rougier’s work on weighing donkeys in Kenya and inspired by Professor Diggle’s work on modelling the prevalence of river blindness in some African countries. These two professors concluded their talks with what I will always remember - there are more than enough good problems for us statisticians to work on and that we should always analyse the problems, not the data.

Event report: RSS teacher training day for maths scholars

Written by Scott Keir and Sophie Carr on . Posted in Features

The RSS held two workshops on Core Maths and statistics for current scholars on the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship programme. Here we give some background to the scheme and report back from the day

The RSS is one of the partner organisations running the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship programme, which identifies and supports people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the mathematical sciences, and who have the potential to be an inspirational teacher.

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