This year, the RSS Young Statisticians' Section (YSS) held a competition for conference delegates to review the conference. The prizes of three £100 book vouchers were generously provided by Wiley. Congratulations to Laura Bonnett, Altea Lorenzo-Arribas, and Emily Granger, the winning reviewers!
Those who were unable to attend the event, who were not able to register due to the conference selling out, or who want to find out what all of the fuss is about, can have a look through all of the submitted reviews at statsyss.wordpress.com/yss-rss-2017.
Not just a statistics conference – a review by Laura Bonnett (WINNER)
Any preconceptions I had that the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Conference would be too broad to be useful were quickly transformed during my attendance at this year’s event in Glasgow. Although the conference does programme parallel sessions related to specific streams such as social, environmental and official statistics, the real strength of the agenda, in my opinion, lies in the general streams such as communicating statistics, and professional development.
Despite the variation in experience of the attendees I am confident everyone would have gained from talks relating to promoting statistical literacy, presenting statistical results, and using social media to communicate statistics. This was particularly evidenced by the audience for the Young Statisticians Section and RSS Education Committee’s joint session entitled STEM Showcase. Following a demonstration of activities being developed to engage the next generation of statisticians and scientists, panellists fielded questions from PhD students and post-docs through to eminent statisticians such as Professors David Spiegelhalter, Sheila Bird and Stephen Senn.
I believe that as statisticians we have a duty to inspire the next generation, and to engage the public with our subject. This year’s RSS conference certainly inspired many, and provided the skills to do just that!
Poster Session – a review by Altea Lorenzo-Arribas (WINNER)
Professional development: Get Involved! – a review by Emily Granger (WINNER)
Along with a variety of stimulating statistical talks, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Conference hosted numerous professional development sessions. Collectively, these sessions offered inspiring advice for statisticians of any sector, at any stage of their career. For me, one of the most interesting sessions was ‘Get Involved’.
Three impressive speakers included Emanuele Giorgi who spoke passionately about his experiences in Africa teaching statistics to students from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). Karen Facey described various ways to get involved with the RSS and Laura Bonnett shared her experiences as a STEM Ambassador inspiring young people to consider STEM-related careers.
Laura’s talk piqued my interest. I have recently become a STEM Ambassador, but find the prospect of going into a school to inspire young people with statistics fairly daunting! However, Laura demonstrated how achievable this is by describing a number of tried and tested statistical activities. One example included using dice to show people that they are not as random as they might think!
The session left me more confident in my role as a STEM Ambassador and with new ideas for involvement with AIMS and RSS. Overall, these were three brilliant and motivating talks.
See all of the submitted reviews at statsyss.wordpress.com/yss-rss-2017.