Announcing our honours recipients for 2019

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We are delighted to announce the recipients of our 2019 honours, who will be presented with their awards at a ceremony during our annual conference in Belfast this September:

• Guy Medal in Gold: Stephen Buckland

• Guy Medal in Silver: Susan Murphy

• Guy Medal in Bronze: Jonas Peters

• Barnett Award: Marian Scott

• Research Prize: Tengyao Wang

Statistical Excellence Awards 2019: Nominations open

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The Royal Statistical Society is now formally accepting 2019 entries for awards that recognise statistical excellence in two distinct fields: official statistics and journalism.

The Campion Award for Excellence in Official Statistics is for anyone working in UK government statistics and rewards good practice in producing and presenting statistics for the public good. Given in partnership with the UK Statistics Authority, we are pleased to announce that Civil Service World are the media partner for this year’s award.

Statistics of the Year 2018: Winners announced

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This year’s Statistics of the Year announcement has a distinctly environmental theme as statistics relating to plastic waste and the use of solar energy emerged as the winners of this year’s International and UK categories respectively.

The commended entries cover a plethora of other issues, from the reduction in global ‘absolute poverty’ to the number of Jaffa cakes present in its Christmas tube - illustrating the phenomenon of ‘shrinkflation’.

Two data ethics bodies announce board members and remit

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Two new bodies dedicated to investigate the potential benefits and governance of data and artificial intelligence (AI) have, in the past month, announced the next stages of their development. 

At an event last week, the Ada Lovelace Institute launched its prospectus (PDF) and announced four board members, including RSS executive director, Hetan Shah. The new independent research body was set up earlier this year to ensure that data and AI works for people and society. It was founded by the Nuffield Foundation, aided by other organisations including the RSS, the Alan Turing Institute, the British Academy and the Wellcome Trust. 

Tim Harford awarded OBE in New Year Honours

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Congratulations to RSS Honorary Fellow Tim Harford, who was awarded an OBE, 'For services to Improving Economic Understanding' in the 2019 New Year's Honours list.

Tim is a senior columnist at the Financial Times and the presenter of Radio 4’s More or Less programme. He has written several books, including 'Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy' and the popular 'The Undercover Economist'. 

RSS publishes 2018 Annual Review

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The Royal Statistical Society has just published its 2018 Annual Review, which provides a great overview of the work the Society has been doing this year.

The six-page report is introduced by our current president, David Spiegelhalter. He writes: ‘A huge amount has been achieved in relation to influencing public debate, championing statistics education and supporting the profession. My particular enthusiasm is for public engagement – I feel that statisticians, with their characteristics of balance and integrity, deserve a far stronger voice in modern debates.  So it’s heartening to see the amount of positive coverage the Society is receiving in the media.’   

Significance December 2018 issue

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The December 2018 issue of Significance is out now in digital formats. In this issue, we explore the thorny topic of data ethics. 'Big data' is gradually revealing its potential to both help and harm us. But the rights and wrongs of what to do about this are hard to pin down, so Robert Langkjær‐Bain looks at the work under way to ensure the data revolution does not leave ethics behind.

Next, we turn our attention to the risk of extreme floods in England and Wales. In past winters, flooding has caused billions of pounds of damage, and though governments, emergency services and homeowners might like to think – and hope – that such extreme events are rare, statisticians have shown that they are likely to occur more frequently than expected.

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