International Year of Statistics: It's the International Year of Statistics!

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february2013 23 2013 The Royal Statistical SocietyI t s t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Ye a r o f S t a t i s t i c s !Welcome to 2013 the International Year of Statistics!We are calling this yearlong celebration Statistics2013. It is a major public relations campaign designed to increase our professions visibility and to encourage young people to pursue statistics careers. Statistics2013 is a worldwide, grassroots-driven campaign in-volving more than 1500 organisations in 111 countries. Professional societies, colleges and universi-ties, secondary schools, government entities, and businesses have banded together through the Statistics2013 campaign. We want to pro-mote the importance of statistics to the broader scientific community, business and government data users, the media, policy-makers, employers, students, and not least the general public. The campaigns broad goals are: increasing public awareness of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society; nurturing statistics as a profession, espe-cially among young people; and promoting creativity and development in the sciences of probability and statistics.It is no coincidence that the celebration is being held in 2013. This year marks the 300th anniversary of Jakob Bernoullis Ars Conjectandi a work which gave the word probability the meaning it has today. Just as important, 2013 is the 250th anniversary of Bayes theorem a statistical basis fundamental to making informed decisions in huge numbers of areas that vitally affect the world today. Statistics2013 is led by representatives from the American Statistical Association, Royal Statistical Society, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Statistical Institute (and the Bernoulli Society), and International Biometric Society. It is truly international. Just a small sample: The Hungarian Statistical Association members will be promoting statistics to visitors at the popular Skanzen Open Air Museum in Szentendre. The Department of Mathematics and Sta-tistics at Canadas Universit de Moncton is partnering with four Vietnamese uni-versities to sponsor a conference, titled Statistics and Its Interactions with Other Disciplines, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 5th7th June. The IBS Biometrics magazine and numerous other industry journals and magazines will be showcasing Statistics2013 throughout the year. The Statistics2013 Steering Committee has been busy as well: The website features public-focused information about statistics and careers, regularly updated features, an interactive Census at School quiz, informational cartoons, and more. In conjunction with the steering com-mittee, SAS Institute has created a video about the impact of statistics on society and subtitled it in many languages see it on the website above. A statistics careers video is planned for mid-2013. Statistics2013 will culminate in November with a statistics research conference in London.By increasing awareness of statistics and how statisticians are improving our global society, organisers hope to attract young people to the profession and connect more effectively with other sciences. Many organisations are participating in the International Year of Statistics. If you work for one of them you can help your company promote the valuable contributions of statistics and stat-isticians to its customers and other stakeholders. If your organisation does not belong, encourage it to join today and then take the lead promoting Statistics2013. Individuals can get involved too and we need your help. Grassroots participation is es-sential to the success of the International Year of Statistics. If you are a statistician you can help in a number of ways: Participate in events that help advance statistics awareness among the public and the media. You can view a current list of activities in the Statistics2013 Global Supporters section of www. Tell others about your statistical work. Enter the RSS Young Statisticians writing competition see later on these pages. Or write short blogs explaining statistical aspects of news stories that are in the news throughout the year. The Significance mag-azine website will be very happy to post them; see the panels that follow. Easier still, unfold the staples to detach the double-page flyer for the International Year of Statistics that you will find overleaf, and post it on your departmental notice-board or anywhere else where it might be seen. We are delighted that this, the official poster for the International Year of Sta-tistics, features the cover design and title of Significance, reflecting the role of this magazine in conveying the interest and fascination of statistics to non-specialists. If you like, copy and then post also the reverse of the flyer, which includes this page and details of the Young Statisticians Writing Competition, and of how to post blogs to the Significance magazine website. The more you can publicise the Interna-tional Year of Statistics, the magazine, the competition and the website, the more suc-cessful the International Year of Statistics will be. You can also download the poster from statistics2013-posters/, to print in as large a format as you are able. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the huge number of participating organisations and their members, Statistics2013 will be the catalyst of a move-ment that will make statistics come alive for more people. Ron WassersteinExecutive Director, American Statistical AssociationInternational Year of Statistics


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