Memorial plaque for abolitionist statistician, Zachary Macaulay

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To celebrate European Statistics Day, the RSS has contributed to a memorial plaque in memory of statistician and anti-slavery campaigner Zachary Macaulay, who used his statistical skills to help abolish slavery within the British Empire in the 19th century.

The plaque was unveiled yesterday (Friday 19 October 2018) in St George’s Gardens, London to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Macaulay's birth.

Conference 2018: Photo gallery

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We had an amazing conference this year - many thanks to all who took part! We hope this photo gallery gives a flavour of everything that went on.

Many thanks to our photographer Rich Gray at Rugfoot Photography. See next year in Belfast!

RSS endorses regulator’s criticism of DfE stats claims

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The RSS has issued a strongly worded statement regarding the Department for Education's 'misuse' of statistics regarding government funding of education.

RSS President, Sir David Spiegelhalter, said: 'The Department for Education has had multiple warnings over the years about misusing statistics. For a Department that is in charge of the nation’s numerical skills, this is getting embarrassing. Ministers need to get a grip and ensure they use numbers in a trustworthy way.

'As the UK Statistics Authority has shown, the DfE has recently been using statistics selectively, in a way that can rightly be termed "spinning".'

Conference 2018: Our awards ceremony in pictures

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Every year, the RSS presents a number of medals, awards and prizes for outstanding contributions to statistics.

The awards are presented at our Annual International Conference, which this year took place in Cardiff. The awards were presented by our current president, Sir David Spiegelhalter.

Significance magazine October 2018

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The October 2018 issue of Significance is out now in print and digital formats. In this issue, we explore the use of statistics in court. Judges and jurors are often asked to make sense of statistics. But data, probabilities and uncertainties are easily misunderstood or misused by those not trained to deal with them. Is education the answer? Or is greater oversight required? Nick Thieme considers the options for the US legal system.

Then, continuing the legal theme, Jonny Jacobsen takes us back to the 1990s, when British miners were fighting for compensation for diseases linked to coal dust exposure. Epidemiology and statistics were essential to the miners’ case, so defendants sought to cast doubt on the data – and it fell to Jonny’s father, the late Michael Jacobsen, to argue that the research was sound. With a high concentration of cases of 'black lung' disease recently reported among miners in southwest Virginia, this historical account is a timely tale.