Ruth King elected FRSE
Congratulations to Ruth King, Thomas Bayes' Professor of Statistics, University of Edinburgh, who has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Ruth has been an active member of the RSS and is currently on the committee of the Society's Research Section. She is also a faculty fellow and programme committee member of the Alan Turing Institute, and in 2015 she was a lecturer in the London Mathematical Society's 'Popular Lectures' which present exciting topics in mathematics and its applications to a wide audience.
Stanley F James 1927-2017
We regret to announce the news that RSS fellow Stanley James, the former assistant director of the Central Statistics Office (which preceded the Office for National Statistics), died in December 2017.
Stanley joined the government statistical service in 1956 and achieved rapid promotion to chief statistician at the early age of 39. In 1970 Claus Moser picked him out to be an assistant director of the CSO and in 1972 he became director of statistics and intelligence at the Inland Revenue. He took early retirement in 1984.
From 1976 to 1983 Stanley was a member of the Council of the Royal Statistical Society and from 1978 to 1983 he was Society’s Honorary Treasurer. He was noted for being calm and clear-headed under pressure and a kindly and considerate manager.
Stanley Oglesby obituary
We are sad to read in the Guardian’s obituary column that RSS fellow Stanley Oglesby has died aged 87. He was a statistician at textile company J&P Coates (now known as Coates) in Glasgow, rising to be head of operational research before he retired. He was a longstanding fellow of the RSS, having joined the Society in 1952.
RSS fellows awarded in New Year’s Honours list 2018
The RSS is delighted to note that a number of our fellows and award recipients have been named in the 2018 New Year Honours list.
Former RSS President (2010) Bernard Silverman received a knighthood for public service and services to science. Bernard was, until recently, chief scientific adviser at the Home Office.
Current RSS council member, Christl Donnelly, received an CBE for services to epidemiology and the control of infectious diseases. A professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London, Christl gave the President’s invited lecture at our 2016 conference and was until recently, our William Guy lecturer.
RSS Honorary Fellow John Curtice, received a knighthood for services to the social sciences and politics. John was awarded RSS Honorary Fellowship last year for his pioneering work on understanding voting behaviour. His expertise in political polling has been long recognised and he’s contributed as a political analyst to the BBC's election night coverage since 1979.
RSS fellow Diane Coyle, an economics professor was awarded an CBE for services to economics and the public understanding of economics. Diane recently won the prestigious Indigo Prize and has just been appointed Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.
The RSS was also pleased to see a former Statistical Excellence in Journalism winner, Ben Goldacre, receive an MBE for services to evidence in policy.
The full list of recipients can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-years-honours-list-2018.
Marian Scott appointed to Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Congratulations to former RSS Council member and CStat Marian Scott, who has been appointed as an independent member of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), which advises the government on UK-wide and international nature conservation.
Marian is professor of environmental statistics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Glasgow. She is also an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). She was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to social science.
She joins Professor Melanie Austen and Charles Banner who were also appointed on 15 December 2017 and will hold the position for three years.
Michael Jacobsen 1933-2017
We are sad to hear of the death of statistician and epidemiologist Michael Jacobsen, who died on 28 October at the age of 84. Michael was a longstanding fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, having joined in 1963.
He was head of statistics and research and later deputy director of the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh (1968-1989). Founded by the National Coal Board, the IOM assumed responsibility for research into the respiratory health of mineworkers. Michael’s proudest professional achievement was helping British mineworkers win a High Court battle granting compensation for work-related illnesses in 1997.
He also worked as a visiting scientist in India, the United States and Germany, and helped the ILO set international standards measuring coal workers’ lung disease.
An obituary is published in The Scotsman.
Diane Coyle wins Indigo Prize and is appointed new Cambridge professor
Many congratulations to RSS fellow Diane Coyle, economics professor at the University of Manchester, who is joint winner of a new economics award worth £100k.
Entrants to the Indigo Prize were invited to submit an entry of up to 5,000 words on designing a new economic measure for global economies. Diane’s entry, ‘Making the Future Count’ was written with Benjamin Mitra-Kahn, chief economist at IP Australia. Their entry was joint first place with another from a team of writers that included Imperial College's Jonathan Haskel and BEIS adviser Stian Westlake, both of whom have spoken at several RSS events.
Diane has also just been appointed in the inaugural post of Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She will take up her post in March 2018 and take a leading role in the brand-new Cambridge Institute for Public Policy, conducting research in public policy economics, technology, industrial strategy and global inequality.
David Bartholomew 1931-2017
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of former RSS president (1993-95) David Bartholomew. David was emeritus professor of statistics at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Born and schooled in Bedford, David obtained his degree and PhD at University College London. After becoming a statistics lecturer, first at the University of Keele, and then with Dennis Lindley in his new department at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, he wrote his 1967 book, ‘Stochastic Models for Social Processes’. After moving to the University of Kent in 1967 as statistics professor, he developed stochastic models for manpower planning in the civil service. This work eventually gave rise to the influential book ‘Statistical Techniques for Manpower Planning’ which he wrote with AF Forbes. In 1973 he moved to the LSE, where published his 1987 book, ‘Latent Variable Models and Factor Analysis’. He also held influential positions in the department, as convener, on the appointments committee and as pro-director.
David joined the RSS in 1955 and was editor of the Society’s Series B journal from 1966-69, was on the journal’s editorial panel from 1973-76 and was awarded the Society’s Guy Medal in Bronze in 1971. He was secretary and treasurer of Council and served as President from 1993-95. He was also heavily involved in the move from the Society's old premises to its current location on Errol Street.
David was known for his efficiency, fairness, good judgement, and strong sense of duty. His long interest in religion resulted in several books; other interests included the history of ideas in psychometrics and a love of horticulture. A thanksgiving service for his life will be held on Friday 17th November; please contact the Society for details.
Jen Rogers appointed president of mathematical sciences at BSA
Congratulations to our vice president for external affairs, Jen Rogers, who has just been appointed president of mathematical sciences at the British Science Association for 2018.
The BSA organises many initiatives across the UK, including British Science Week, the annual British Science Festival and the CREST Awards. The Mathematical Sciences Section organises many of its own events, which are detailed on its webpage.
Jen is director of statistical consultancy services at the University of Oxford having previously worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Statistics. She has been vice-president for external affairs at the Royal Statistical Society since the beginning of 2017.
Julian Mund new chief executive of PLSA
Congratulations to RSS fellow Julian Mund, who has been appointed the chief executive of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) as of 1 August 2017.
Julian joined the PLSA in September 2013 as Commercial Services Director and has been instrumental in growing the organisation’s commercial income by 29% and improving the overall quality and breadth of the PLSA’s offering. Prior to joining the PLSA, Julian worked at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for 16 years, most recently acting as Director of Markets and Product Development, as well as at the Department for Education.
Julian said he was 'absolutely delighted' a the appointment to an organisation which represents more than 1,300 pension schemes, 20 million savers and 400 service providers.
Former RSS president receives honorary degree from Bristol University
Professor Bernard Silverman, chief scientific advisor to the Home Office and RSS past president (2010), has been awarded with a Doctor of Science honorary degree from his former institution, the University of Bristol. Prof Silverman spent ten years as professor of statistics at the university, from 1993-2003.
He received his degree on 18 July 2017 alongside Professor Stephen Frankel, Dr Russell Hamilton CBE and Richard W Pound at a degree ceremony in the Wills Memorial Building.
RSS fellow Dr Carl Michael O’Brien has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the latest Queen’s birthday honour list, for services to the management of internationally-shared fisheries. Carl said he was 'both extremely surprised and absolutely delighted' at receiving the honour, adding: 'I never dreamt of ever receiving this award of a CBE.'
Carl is chief fisheries science adviser at Cefas and explains how his career led him to specialise in this area: 'As an applied statistician, I have had an eclectic career – from modelling multi-component radioactive decay processes, determining three-dimensional crystal structures, developing commercial numerical software packages to modelling the phenology of tropical trees whilst working in the Brazilian Amazon. Over twenty years ago I changed direction and embarked upon the most rewarding period of scientific discovery working in fisheries science – first as a research scientist and then as a science adviser to our government ministers.'
He also pays tribute to his colleagues over the years. 'Personally, I am fortunate to have worked with many eminent scientists, both nationally and internationally, throughout my career, who have given freely of their time. Surrounded by a professional and strong team around me in Cefas and Defra, this award owes much to them as it does to my own endeavours. Too many to mention individually, I thank you all and hope that this award inspires our aspiring young scientists to embark upon careers in the scientific civil service.'
Congratulations to Patrick Wolfe, RSS fellow and professor of statistics and computer science at University College London, who has been chosen as the next Frederick L Hovde Dean of the College of Science at Purdue University in Indiana, USA. Patrick will join Purdue on July 17 where he will be responsible for the seven departments in the College of Science: biological sciences; chemistry; computer science; earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences; mathematics; physics and astronomy; and statistics.
Patrick is the founding executive director of UCL’s Big Data Institute and is a trustee and non-executive director of the UK’s Alan Turing Institute. He is also a past recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House. Mitch Daniels, president of Perdue, said: ‘Data science [...] is increasingly essential to leadership across the disciplines. Given these realities, Patrick Wolfe is a world-class recruit and a perfect fit for this critical position.’