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Royal Statistical Society
Edinburgh Local Group

Welcome to the webpages of the Edinburgh local group of the Royal Statistical Society. We arrange an annual programme of talks and workshops intended to appeal to anyone with an interest in statistics. All of our events are free, and are open both to members of the RSS and to non-members. We typically organise 6-8 events per year, which are usually held on a Tuesday evening. Refreshments are available beforehand, and events are usually followed by a trip to either a pub or a restaurant.

Forthcoming Events

A World Statistics Day event. Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Sustainable Development Goals: the challenges facing the statistics community

In September, at the United Nations General Assembly, heads of states and governments came together to launch a new and ambitious agenda for world development up to 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals set out 17 goals with 169 targets.
These new global goals address the most pressing challenges facing the planet: to end extreme poverty; to fight inequality & injustice; and to fix climate change. But the goals also pose major challenges to statistical communities around the world. What indicators should be used to measure progress towards these new goals and targets? How well equipped are national statistical systems to report on these indicators? And what needs to happen, if decision-makers are to have the data that will be needed to achieve the global goals by 2030?
To celebrate World Statistics Day, the RSS Edinburgh Group will host a discussion about the role of statistics in achieving the new global goals.

Glenn Everett, Director of the Measuring National Well-being Programme at the ONS
Glenn Everett will provide an overview of the new sustainable development goals. He will describe the work that the UN Statistical Commission has initiated, to develop a set of global indicators that will be used to report on progress.

Neil Jackson, Chief Statistician at the Department for International Development (DFID)
Neil Jackson will consider the challenges that national statistical systems will face in reporting on the new global indicators. He will discuss the actions that are being taken by the international community to build statistical capacity, and the particular role that DFID has been playing.

Jenny Church, Chair of the RSS' International Development Working Group
Jenny Church will launch a policy statement by the RSS, calling for a data revolution that recognises the importance of data for policy making and for accountability in all countries of the world. And puts useful and useable information into the hands of everyone who needs it, especially the poor and the marginalised.

Time and Venue: Tuesday 20th October, 6 - 7:15pm (tea and coffee from 5.30pm, wine reception from 7:15 to 8pm)
International Centre for Mathematical Sciences Edinburgh (ICMS)

Registration here. This is a free event open to everyone. Your registration would be useful for the organisers to know how many people are likely to attend, so please complete the registration. Thanks!

Presentations from Recent Events

Event in 2015:

"Statistical Issues in the Calculation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions" on Tuesday 29 September 2015

Martin McFie (Senior Assistant Statistician, Scottish Government). "An Overview of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Scotland." (.pptx file)

Prof. Ute Skiba (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology). "Improving the Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory for the UK, Focussing on Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions." (.pptx file)

Vera Eory (Scotland's Rural College). "That's the Assumption we've Made." (.pptx file)

"Looking to the Future of the Past: a New Era in the Analysis of Historical Census Data?" on Monday 1 June 2015

Dr. Eilidh Garrett - Department of History, University of Essex (.pptx file)

"What is driving changes in crime in Scotland?" on Tuesday 12 May 2015

Professor Susan McVie - School of Law, University of Edinburgh (.pdf file)

"Quantitative Approaches to Financial Risks" on Thursday 29 January 2015

Juthamon Sithipolvanichgul - Scoring Method of Enterprise Risk Management.
Dr Douglas McLean - Challenges in Asset and Liability Proxy Modelling in Insurance.

Event in 2014:

"Big Data from Two Perspectives" on Thursday 16 October 2014

Prof Mark Keane - (Big) Data Analytics: From Word Counts to Population Opinions. (.pdf file)
Prof Marian Scott - Are there New Challenges in Environmetrics Arising from "Big Data?"

"Perceptions of the Weight of Statistical Evidence among Scientists" on Monday 19 May 2014

Richard D. Morey (From personal website)

"The Early History of Bayesian Statistics" on Tuesday 15 April 2014

Tom Leonard (slides) (.pptx file)

"Scotland's Referendum: Statistical Perspectives" on Wednesday 26th March 2014

Jim Cuthbert (statistician) & Margaret Cuthbert (economist) - The medium is (very much) the message (.ppt file)
David Walsh (GCPH, Glasgow) - Scotland: health, its determinants, and the potential implications of independence (.pdf file)
Roger Halliday (Chief Statistician) - The production of official statistics (.pptx file)
John Curtice (Strathclyde University) - The performance of the polls (.pptx file)

"Census 2011: Results so far and innovative ways to access data " on Tuesday 25 February 2014

Sandy Taylor - Scotland's Census 2011 (.pdf file)
Justin Hayes - New and easier ways of working with aggregate data and geographies from UK censuses (.ppt file)

Event in 2013:

"Freeing the power of administrative data" on Tuesday 12 November 2013

Dr Stephen Pavis (slides) (.pptx file)

"Bayesian computing with INLA" on Thursday 19 Sept 2013

Dr Andrew Lawson (slides) (.pdf file)
Dr Janine Illian (slides) (.pdf file)

"Stories and Statistics: what can the Sally Clark case tell us about the psychology of evidential reasoning?" on Tuesday 11 June 2013

Slides (.ppt file)

"The mysterious case of the disappearing crime in Scotland" on Tuesday 30 April 2013

Prof Susan McVie: slides (.pdf file)

"Using statistics to study wildlife" on Monday 18 February 2013

Dr Ruth King: slides (.pdf file)
Dr Kate Searle: slides (.pptx file)

Event in 2012:

"Alcohol in Scotland: from evidence to action" on Tuesday 13 November 2012

Slides (.ppt file)

"Matching of administrative data to validate the 2011 Census in England and Wales" on Wednesday 31 October 2012

Slides (.pptx file)

Royal Statistical Society Interdisciplinary Debate on Tuesday 12 June 2012:
Randomized controlled trials in medical research - gold standard or unhealthy fixation?

Professor Nancy Cartwright: slides (.pptx file)
Professor Nancy Cartwright: talk (.docx file)
Professor Gillian Raab: talk (.docx file)
Professor Gillian Raab: notes (.docx file)

How much does statistical illiteracy cost? GetStats event on Tuesday 27th March 2012

David Walker: slides (.pptx file)

Local Group Committee

Committee for 2014 session

Past Meetings

Details of past meetings are available here:

Further information

If you would like to receive email notifications of events that are organised by the group then please contact Jiayi Liu and ask to be added to the mailing list. Announcements of meetings are also posted to the ALLSTAT mailing list two weeks prior to the meeting.  

This page is maintained by Jiayi Liu. Last updated July 2015.