Siobhan Carey opening keynote speaker at RSS 2019

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We are delighted to announce that the opening keynote talk at RSS 2019 Conference on the evening of Monday 2 September will be given by Siobhan Carey, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

Siobhan is passionate about the role of data in decision making and in supporting public debate. Prior to joining NISRA she spent time as chief statistician at both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for International Development in London, as well as working in the Office for National Statistics in Newport and the Central Statistics Office in Cork, Ireland.

Hands-on statistics resources in Teaching Statistics journal

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Congratulations to RSS fellows Dr Laura Bonnett and Dr Simon White, whose article on demonstrating to 11‐18 year-olds how population modelling using sampling works has been published in the journal Teaching Statistics:

The article, ‘Investigating populations via penguins and their poo!’ describes an activity that uses toy penguins and poo emojis to demonstrate how aerial photographs of penguin guano can be used to estimate the population of an entire penguin colony.

RSS identifies 'major statistical issues' in TEF

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The RSS has set out why we believe one of the UK’s most important university ranking systems, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), has statistical issues that are so major that it is 'likely to mislead students who use TEF to inform their university choices'.

We are concerned that the TEF does not meet the standards set by the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice and have written to the UKSA Director General for Regulation (PDF) about this issue.

Significance keynote at RSS 2019 Conference announced

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The now traditional Significance magazine keynote session at the RSS 2019 Conference will take on a new format this year and address a highly topical subject.

The Significance ‘In Conversation’ session will tackle the topic of ‘Fighting fake news and false facts with evidence and statistical thinking’. Journalist and author James Ball and Peter Cunliffe-Jones who founded Africa Check will join broadcaster and writer Timandra Harkness in discussion.

Final scheduling has yet to be confirmed but will be available from the conference website next month.

Frank Duckworth delivers lecture at local school

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RSS fellow and statistician behind the famous Duckworth–Lewis method used in cricket matches gave a talk to local secondary school students, their parents and teachers at the Wellington School in Somerset.

Frank, who was awarded an MBE in 2010, gave an entertaining and fascinating insight into his life and work at the school's annual Passmore lecture, now in its 29th year and held in memory of Tom Passmore, a former student who had a passion for mathematics.

Conference 2018: Developing international migration statistics

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Estimating the size of the population and how it changes is important. Users of the migration statistics produced at The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have stated that they need more detail about how different groups of the population (in particular international migrants) impact on society and the economy.

ONS is transforming the way they produce population and migration statistics, to better meet the needs of users. Working in partnership across the Government Statistical Service (GSS), it is progressing a programme of work to put administrative data* at the core of evidence on international migration and population (England and Wales) in 2020.

Significance February 2019 issue

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The sinking of the Titanic has inspired books, movies and documentaries. But it has also motivated data visualisation designers to tell the story of the tragedy in new ways, using a variety of graphical methods. In the February 2019 issue of Significance, out now in digital formats, our cover story reviews the first graph of the disaster and some recent developments.

We also look back over 70 years of Academy Awards to analyse speech lengths and ceremony runtimes since 1942, and we explore the historical context that led RA Fisher to propose his celebrated 'random idea'.

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