Proposed Bill to limit pre-release access in Scotland

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The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has proposed a Bill to limit the pre-release access (PRA) that ministers and officials currently have to key economic data.

The changes include the reduction of a five-day limit that is applied to current PRA arrangements to just one day for certain categories of economic statistics (exports, productivity, local government finance and non-domestic rates), plus a phased removal of PRA altogether from GDP and retail sales statistics.

RSS fellows recognised in 2019 Birthday Honours list

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Congratulations to RSS fellows Peter Donnelly, Sylvia Richardson (pictured left) and Mahesh Parmar, who were all recognised in this year’s Birthday honours list.

Peter Donnelly, professor of statistical science at the University of Oxford and chief executive of Genomics plc, was given a knighthood for having made ‘seminal contributions to statistics and its application to human genetics for more than 30 years’, citing his work at the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium investigations and other work in the UK life sciences sector. Peter's work was recognised by the Royal Statistical Society in 2004 when he was awarded our Guy Medal in Silver.

Significance magazine: June 2019 issue

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Our June magazine is out now in digital formats. In this issue we consider the legacy of Francis Galton, statistical pioneer and eugenicist. How should we best commemorate Galton's statistical achievements while not downplaying or overlooking his disturbing views on race?

Also in this issue, as the Cricket World Cup begins, we delve into the history and development of a game-changing statistical idea: the Duckworth-Lewis method.

RSS fellow appears before select committee re: gender pay gap

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RSS fellow and CStat, Nigel Marriott, gave evidence to the House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee on June 5 2019, regarding an inquiry on ‘The Effectiveness of Gender Pay Gap Reporting’. He appeared alongside Sarah Gordon, ex-Business Editor of the Financial Times. 

Nigel, an independent statistical consultant, supplied the underlying research for a report published in April by the Royal Statistical Society, 'Better data for fairer employment: Statistics' role in tackling the gender pay gap' (PDF), which lists ten recommendations for better gender pay gap reporting.

RSS celebrates Volunteers’ Week 2019

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The RSS has marked this year’s celebration of Volunteers’ Week (2-8 June 2019) by sharing our volunteers’ experiences of the work they are doing for the Society. Volunteers’ Week is the annual celebration of volunteers and the contributions they make to organisations and communities across the UK.

Read case studies of two organisations that have benefitted from our Statisticians for Society initiative.

Adrian Smith joins expert committee to boost UK’s AI sector

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Former RSS president and Alan Turing Institute chief executive, Adrian Smith, has joined other leaders from business, academia and data privacy organisations on an independent expert committee created to help boost the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK.

The committee, which also includes Ocado’s chief technology officer Paul Clarke, Patricia Hodgson from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and UKRI chief executive Mark Walport, will look at the skills, ethics and data needed for the UK to make the most of AI technologies.

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