Finalists announced for RSS early-career writing award

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Articles about political polarisation, Poisson distributions and flying bombs, and a bot's-eye view of the world are in the running for the 2019 Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing.

Judges from Significance and the Royal Statistical Society's Young Statisticians Section met last week to review an assortment of entries.

New UKRI plan commits to strengthening statistical skills

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UK Research and Innovation, the body that brings together the UK’s seven Research Councils plus Innovate UK and Research England, has announced plans to work with the Royal Statistical Society to strengthen statistical skills in UK research.

UKRI, the non-departmental government body that oversees the government’s science budget of more than £7 billion has just published its Delivery Plan 2019. One of the actions it commits to for 2019-20 is to ‘Collaborate with the Royal Statistical Society on a plan, led by ESRC, to boost the statistical competencies of researchers in the UK,’ (see p28).

Proposed Bill to limit pre-release access in Scotland

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The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has proposed a Bill to limit the pre-release access (PRA) that ministers and officials currently have to key economic data.

The changes include the reduction of a five-day limit that is applied to current PRA arrangements to just one day for certain categories of economic statistics (exports, productivity, local government finance and non-domestic rates), plus a phased removal of PRA altogether from GDP and retail sales statistics.

RSS fellow appears before select committee re: gender pay gap

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RSS fellow and CStat, Nigel Marriott, gave evidence to the House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee on June 5 2019, regarding an inquiry on ‘The Effectiveness of Gender Pay Gap Reporting’. He appeared alongside Sarah Gordon, ex-Business Editor of the Financial Times. 

Nigel, an independent statistical consultant, supplied the underlying research for a report published in April by the Royal Statistical Society, 'Better data for fairer employment: Statistics' role in tackling the gender pay gap' (PDF), which lists ten recommendations for better gender pay gap reporting.

RSS fellow Chris Whitty appointed new Chief Medical Officer

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The Cabinet Secretary earlier this month (7 June 2019) announced RSS fellow Chris Whitty as the new Chief Medical Officer for England and the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser.

Chris is currently Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care, and has overall responsibility for the department’s research and development, including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and life science strategy.

RSS fellows recognised in 2019 Birthday Honours list

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Congratulations to RSS fellows Peter Donnelly, Sylvia Richardson (pictured left) and Mahesh Parmar, who were all recognised in this year’s Birthday honours list.

Peter Donnelly, professor of statistical science at the University of Oxford and chief executive of Genomics plc, was given a knighthood for having made ‘seminal contributions to statistics and its application to human genetics for more than 30 years’, citing his work at the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium investigations and other work in the UK life sciences sector. Peter's work was recognised by the Royal Statistical Society in 2004 when he was awarded our Guy Medal in Silver.

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