Dave Woods to chair RSS 2020 International Conference

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Professor Dave Woods has been announced as Programme Chair for the RSS 2020 International Conference which will take place in Bournemouth from 7-10 September 2020.

Dave is head of statistics in the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton and deputy director of the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute. He is also a Turing Fellow at the Turing Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. His research interests focus on the design and analysis of both physical and computer experiments, Bayesian methods, and the application of statistics to science and technology. Much of his work is interdisciplinary and involves collaborations with researchers from other disciplines, and with government and industry.

Anthony Reuben confirmed closing keynote speaker at RSS 2019

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Anthony Reuben from the BBC’s Reality Check team has been confirmed as the final keynote speaker at this September’s RSS 2019 Conference in Belfast.

Anthony is author of the recently published 'Statistical – Ten easy ways to avoid being misled by numbers'. He has been a journalist for more than 25 years and was the BBC’s first head of statistics. He is now a senior journalist with the corporation’s fact-checking Reality Check team, which he helped to create.

He joins a distinguished and varied line-up of keynote speakers at the conference who will include:

  • Siobhan Carey (Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency)
  • Peter Cunliffe-Jones (founder, Africa Check)
  • Peter Muller (University of Texas in Austin)
  • Marian Scott (University of Glasgow)

Full information about the conference is available on the RSS 2019 website.

 

Florence Nightingale at 200 – your ideas welcome!

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2020 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale – the Society’s first female member, and we’re looking for ways to celebrate her important work in statistics.

The RSS is already developing plans to ensure that this bicentenary is marked in suitable style. To take things forward, RSS Council member Christl Donnelly has been asked by RSS President Deborah Ashby to chair a small group that will choose between the many celebratory ideas that have already been proposed.

President’s Invited Lecture announced for RSS 2019 Conference

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We are pleased to announce that Professor Charlotte Watts will give the Campion (President’s Invited) lecture at the RSS 2019 Conference in Belfast this September.

Professor Charlotte Watts has been chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of International Development (DFID) since October 2015. In this role she is director of the research and evidence division and head of the science and engineering profession for DFID.

Lords report recommends probability training for law advocates

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A report by the House of Lords has recommended that advocates practising in criminal courts should, as part of their continuing professional development, ‘be required to undertake training in the use of scientific evidence in court and basic scientific principles such as probability, scientific inference and research methods’.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee made the recommendation in its report, ‘Forensic science and the criminal justice system: a blueprint for change. The report acknowledges that the quality and delivery of forensic science in England and Wales is ‘inadequate’ and makes a series of recommendations to improve the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system.

RSS highlights late death registrations problem to stats watchdog

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Ed Humpherson, the Director General for Regulation at the UK Statistics Authority, has thanked the RSS – in particular, former RSS council member Professor Sheila Bird from the MRC Biostatistics Unit at Cambridge University – for continuing to highlight the problem of late death registrations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The RSS has long campaigned to change current legislation, which allows for the registration of deaths that are subject to an inquest, to be delayed until the cause of death has been established. We are concerned that delays for inquest verdicts on suicides and drug-related deaths, in particular, mean that calendar-year trends are seriously confounded.

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