The August 2018 issue of Significance is out now in print and digital formats. In this issue we tell the story of R – the statistical programming language that became a subcultural phenomenon. On its 25th anniversary, we explore R’s history, community and culture – and consider what the future might have in store.
We also mark the upcoming centenary of a paper by RA Fisher in which he first introduced the statistical term 'variance'. What followed was a whole new field of statistical analysis.
The Royal Statistical Society has formed a Data Ethics Special Interest Group to address emerging topics in the burgeoning data ethics landscape.
The group’s formation reflects the growing recognition that in an era of big data, sound ethical practices will need to be considered and developed to ensure good data stewardship in future.
The RSS is delighted to hear that the Greater London Authority (GLA) is voluntarily adopting the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice in order to ensure the quality, trustworthiness and value of their local data and statistical outputs. It will be the first UK city administration to adopt the new Code.
The GLA produces and publishes a great many statistics through its award-winning data platform, the London Datastore. The open data helps the GLA understand the performance of key public services such as the police, transport and fire and rescue. They are also used by the London Assembly to stimulate democratic debate and hold the Mayor to account.
Trustees are the people who lead a charity to ensure it achieves the aims it was set up to do. They are responsible for ensuring the charity complies with the law and puts the needs of the people it supports first. Trustees use their skills and experience to support the charity, helping them make well informed decisions.
The RSS is taking some of its most popular courses out of London and is now offering a range of foundation and professional data-related courses in Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester in September 2018.
Our popular foundation course, Basic Statistics is being run at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Leeds on 13-14 September. Coached by Ellen Marshall, the statistics co-ordinator in the Maths and Statistics Help centre (MASH) at Sheffield University, the purpose of this course is to help participants understand some basic statistical concepts such as hypothesis testing and confidence interval estimation as well as how to develop a strategy for simple data analysis. Ellen is the winner of an internal student union award for Innovation in Academic skills development & Sigma Outstanding Contributor award in the field of Maths and Statistics Support.
The 2018 Campion award for excellence in official statistics was presented at an awards ceremony last night by UK Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell.
The award is named in honour of former RSS president, the late Sir Harry Campion, the first director in 1941 of what was then the UK Central Statistical Office and is given in partnership with the UK Statistics Authority. It celebrates good practice in UK government statistics and focuses on statistics for the public good. Civil Service World is the media partner for this year’s award.