Latest RSS member referral scheme prize draw winners

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The winners of our latest member referral scheme prize draw have been announced as Dr Olaniyi Mathew Olayiwola and Professor Olusegun Folorunso. 

Dr Olayiwola (pictured left) is a senior lecturer at the Department of Statistics at Federal University of Agriculture in Nigeria. His research interests include survey methodology, sampling, big data analysis and climatic modelling. Dr Olayiwola has been a fellow of the RSS since 2012 and is a founding member and chair of the new RSS Nigeria local group, which will begin its activities next year. He has been actively referring his colleagues to the RSS, including Professor Folorunso.

RSS fellow receives COPSS 2018 Presidents Award

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The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) has awarded its 2018 Presidents Award to RSS fellow, Richard Samworth.

The award is presented every year to a young member of one of COPSS's societies, recognising outstanding contributions to the profession of statistics. This year’s award citation recognised Richard for his ‘fundamental contributions to nonparametric inference' and for 'many substantial contributions to the profession, including editorial service and extensive service to statistical societies; and for the training and mentoring of junior researchers.’

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!

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.

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: David Cox on the significance test controversy

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The so-called ‘replication [or reproducibility] crisis’ in science has, in part, been blamed on the use of significance tests, or p-values, to derive whether or not a scientific discovery is 'significant'.

RSS Conference programme lead, Daniel Farewell, introduced the keynote session which offered a variety of perspectives on significance tests from leading experts on the subject. Deborah Mayo, a statistical scientist and philosopher from the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Tech is author of the book, Statistical inference as Severe Testing. Fellow Virginia Tech professor, Aris Spanos, who has authored many papers on the subject including ‘Severe testing as a basic concept in a Neyman–Pearson philosophy of induction’ with Deborah Mayo back in 2006, brought his perspective from the field of econometrics. Richard Morey from the School of Psychology at Cardiff University, and who has just published a paper ‘Beyond statistics: accepting the null hypothesis in mature sciences’, talked from his background in Bayesian statistics and experimental psychology. Last, but certainly not least, David Cox brought his unique perspectives as one of the most influential thinkers in modern statistics.

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.

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