The RSS Data Manifesto sets out ten recommendations to the UK government on how it can improve data for the good of society.
Reema Patel, head of public engagement at the Ada Lovelace Institute, explains why recommendation number 7: Involve the public in shaping the conversation about how data is used, is important.
Addressing the deficits in statistical thinking and data analysis skills across academia should be a priority, says RSS fellow Darren Dahly, principal statistician and senior lecturer in research methods at HRB Ireland Clinical Research Facility Cork. Here he explains why.
We see the impact of poor research methods everywhere around us. Reviews focusing on the appropriate use and reporting of research methods are almost universally depressing. Chalmers and Glasziou have opened our eyes to massive research waste. Ioannidis tells us that most research findings are false. Reproducibility, or lack thereof, is on many of our minds. And of course there is the late Doug Altman warning us of 'the scandal of poor medical research', way back in 1994. Had we only listened.
On June 18 2019, the RSS Glasgow Local Group hosted a Glasgow Science Festival lecture by the William Guy lecturer Dr Lee Fawcett from the University of Newcastle. As Guy Lecturer, Lee has a volunteer role in RSS to provide school outreach activities. The lecture was attended by around 66 people from three different schools in the Glasgow area and was an interactive talk with handouts and the students answering questions and being encouraged to ask questions themselves.
The main takeaway from the talk was that statistics is not just calculating the mean, medians or modes but rather applicable to every other scientific field. The main aim of the talk was to inspire the students that statistics is an exciting field of study.
In June 2018, Anthony Masters was selected to be a statistical ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society. Here he describes what work he's undertaken in the role so far.
The misunderstanding of statistics can have dire consequences, such as: people under-estimating savings needed for retirement, the mis-evaluation of assets during the 2008 financial crisis, and imprisonments based on faulty interpretation of probabilities.
Jean Rizk, a third-year PhD Candidate at the University of Limerick, volunteered as a tutor at AIMS Cameroon, based in Limbe. Here, he shares his experiences.
Volunteering to help African postgraduatesf with their dissertations is one of the best life decisions I’ve made. What a tremendous and humbling experience! At AIMS Cameroon, a group of young and passionate African mathematicians and physicists are trying to overcome a variety of obstacles to prove that they can be great scientists and efficient contributors to society.
Dr Lee Fawcett, a statistics lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics at Newcastle University, is the current RSS William Guy lecturer.
He is currently taking his lecture ‘The Storm of the Century! Using data to anticipate extreme climate events’, to schools around the UK, where he introduces the insights that statistics can provide in understanding extreme weather events.