The RSS has been proactive in ensuring the safety of its fellows, staff and stakeholders during the current COVID-19 pandemic and we will be monitoring the government’s guidance closely as the situation evolves.
The RSS London office is closed until further notice and all upcoming events have been postponed or where possible, moved to online participation only – read our latest update.
RSS President, Professor Deborah Ashby (pictured), said:
'Never has the RSS strapline, "Data, Evidence, Decisions" felt quite so relevant. The communication of information based on evidence is now more important than ever.
'Statistics and the statistical community have a key role to play in aiding our understanding of the pandemic and we are immensely grateful to our fellows who are providing their expertise to help mitigate its effects.
'The public are being bombarded daily with new information about the outbreak. As we argue in our Data Manifesto, we need to skill up the nation so people can better understand the numbers behind the headlines; we also need to counter misinformation.
'The RSS and its membership will be playing its part during these difficult times to ensure the power of data can be fully utilised.'
Below are some resources from our own archive and elsewhere that may be of help for fellows and the wider public, both to help understand the statistics being reported and to inform of the current situation.
- Significance – our flagship statistics magazine
- A statistician’s guide to coronavirus numbers – an explainer page from the Royal Statistical Society’s Statistical Ambassadors
- Number hygiene– a dozen rules of thumb when reporting on numbers
- RSS video – People, Policy & Prediction: Different Perspectives on the Threat of Global Infectious Diseases (2017)
- Hands-on Statistics– demonstrations of various short, practical activities and gamesdesigned to engage secondary school students and explain a variety of statistical concepts
- Glossary of basic statistical terms
- Deborah Ashby: Pigeonholes and mustard seeds: growing capacity to use data for society –RSS President’s Address, delivered June 2019
- Imperial College London - Science Matters: Let’s Talk about COVID-19 – free online course looking into the pressing questions on COVID-19
- David Spiegelhalter – Medium blogs – Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication and former RSS president, gives his views on the communication around COVID-19
- fullfact.org– independent factchecking charity looking into the latest claims on coronavirus
- COVID-19 Misinformation Dashboard – Ryerson University’s team of computational social scientists, communications professionals and developers keep track of false COVID-19 claims from around the web
- Science Media Centre: roundups & rapid reactions – expert reactions to the latest news on Covid-19
- New Scientist weekly podcast (26 March) – RSS fellow, Christl Donnelly discusses how it's never too late to flatten the curve, and how smartphones are can be useful for contact tracing
- UK Research and Innovation - Coronavirus: the science explained: lays out the evidence and the facts about the virus, the disease, the epidemic, and its control
- The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine – committed its skills and expertise in evidence synthesis and dissemination
- ONS: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – the latest data and analysis on coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK and its effect on the economy and society, from the Office for National Statistics
- Our World in Data– the latest statistics
- Financial Times coronavirus tracked – the countries affected, the number of deaths and the economic impact, outside the FT paywall
- London School of Hygiene & Tropic Medicine - COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus– free online course onwhat we know about COVID-19, presented by international experts.