Conference 2018: Rapid-fire talk and poster prize winners

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The RSS conference poster exhibition gives early career researchers the opportunity to present their research at conference, and talk about their work with conference attendees.

Last year, we introduced a new rapid-fire talks section for those new to presenting their research, where each speaker had five-minutes to present their research. This section proved so popular we integrated it as a key part of the conference. 

New agreement to connect RSS volunteers to overseas projects

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The RSS has just signed an agreement with the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) to enable RSS fellows to volunteer their time and statistical expertise to help low-income countries develop their statistical systems.

PARIS21 is an international body established by the UN, EC, OECD, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank back in 1999 to promote better use and production of statistics throughout the developing world. The new agreement will allow RSS fellows to provide technical assistance to specific PARIS21 assignments to strengthen statistical systems in developing and emerging economies.

Stats community honours Andreas Georgiou

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The RSS is one of six international statistics organisations to present Andreas Georgiou with a special commendation recognising his work at the Greek statistical authority Elstat.

The commendation was given to the former Elstat president ‘for his competency and strength in the face of adversity, his commitment to the production of quality and trustworthiness of official statistics and his advocacy for the improvement, integrity and independence of official statistics’. It was presented to Georgiou personally at a meeting just prior to the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) Conference in Paris earlier this month.

Conference 2018: The who, what, when and where of effective graphics

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Mark Baillie

RSS Conference 2018 began Tuesday with a call for statisticians to hone their graphical skills to ensure statistical outputs have the desired impact.

Mark Baillie of the pharmaceutical firm Novartis urged delegates to see statistical graphics as a key tool for communicating with scientists and decision makers – but it is a tool that is not fully taken advantage of, he said.

Conference 2018 session: What is 'data journalism'?

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Clara Guibourg

'Data journalism' might seem to be a new and exciting offshoot of regular journalism, but a panel of data journalists were at RSS Conference on Tuesday afternoon to dispel that notion. 'Data journalism' is just journalism, they said – and storytelling remains king.

Claire Miller, of press group Reach, made the point that journalists have always used data in their work, whether reporting on crime statistics or budget statements. What has changed is the opportunities afforded by digital platforms to create more interesting, engaging presentations of data.

Conference 2018: Building statistical capacity and filling data gaps

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The breadth of the data required to measure the SDGs has tested even the most advanced statistical systems and this session looked at how governments and organisations are coming up with a variety of ways to fill the gaps.

Deirdre Appel from Open Data Watch (who also spoke at the conference’s session on gender data gaps) talked about building statistical literacy as well as capacity through the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With 232 indicators requiring data and some countries not even having a regular census or death registration statistics, there is a clear gap in capacity. Building partnerships between private and public sector/government is the aim, Deirdre said, but this will take resources and funding to achieve.

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