Dear IAOS Members
I feel very fortunate to have been elected as President of the International Association for Official Statistics for the period 2019-21.
I have the good fortune to be following Mario Palma, and his predecessors in the role. They have built the Association into what it is today and my task is made all the easier by their leadership over many years.
I also have the good fortune to be part of a brilliant and diverse newly elected Executive Committee (EXCO) team [ Announcement: IAOS Executive Committe 2019-2021 ]. The IAOS is an entirely voluntary Association and the commitment of those who are elected to serve is testament to how much they care about the role of official statistics in serving the public good across the globe.
Finally, I have the good fortune to come into the role at a critical time for our community: the need for trustworthy numbers to guide decision making is everywhere evident; the opportunities arising from new data sources, technologies and methods are tantalising; and the IAOS has a unique place, both in upholding the centrality of official statistics to effective democracy and in calling out those who seek to undermine it and seduce others to ignore evidence and instead rely on anecdote, whim or populist rhetoric.
Now is a time for us to find our voice.
One month into the role I am greatly encouraged. The World Statistics Congress in Kuala Lumpur (with IAOS EXCO member Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chair of the organising committee, a most wonderful host) included many sessions organised by the IAOS and many other sessions strongly linked to our interests, such as on statistical literacy.
I particularly enjoyed the passion displayed in the session on official statistics and Parliaments organised by our founding President, Jean-Louis Bodin (one of no less than eight IAOS Presidents present at the WSC). There are plenty of other highlights on YouTube:
My thanks also to Rolando Ocampo, who was the IAOS representative on the WSC Scientific Committee.
Our new Executive Committee has got off to a great start and we have launched a consultation into the IAOS strategy for 2019-2021. Make sure you have your say.
Plans are well advanced for our conference in Zambia (19-21 May 2020 – note for your diary) which promises to be an exciting celebration of all that we value as a professional community.
Our Journal is thriving and developing fast in the hands of new Editor-in-Chief, Pieter Everaers and his impressive editorial team. Do you have a paper or an article that could inspire others? Or a contribution to make to our online discussion platform? Register at www.officialstatistics.com and have your say! Our first discussion topic is based on the recently published article “You say you want a [data] revolution”: A proposal to use unofficial statistics for the SDG Global Indicator Framework by Steve MacFeely and Bojan Nastav.
It was a great joy for me to present the Young Statisticians Prizes for 2019 at the closing ceremony of the World Statistics Congress. Congratulations again to the 2019 winners. YSP 2020 is our tenth year. Do look out for good nominees. Applications for 2020 are now open [ YSP ] with a cash prize and a trip to Zambia on offer for the winners.
There are plenty of other opportunities too to contribute to the work of the IAOS. As well as the Conference, Journal and Young Statisticians Prize we are looking for people to help with communications, including engagement on social media and development of our website. Contact us to get involved at contactIAOS@gmail.com or at https://twitter.com/IAOS_stat
Our membership has been growing fast but with more members we can do even more: if you have not joined yet do so; if you are already a member get a friend (or maybe five or more…) to sign up [ Join us ]. We have had to increase the membership rates for 2020 to cover overhead charges levied on us by the ISI, but the new full member rate of E50 for the year remains great value and there are discounts for members in developing countries, students, individuals who work in an organisation who is an institutional member and Journal article contributors.
It is also important that we share experience and support each other. The case of Andreas Georgiou is an especially important one. The support given by Kathy Wallman and others in a recent letter to the Financial Times (Brussels must assess Greek judicial reform efforts ) calling for an end to the persecution of Andreas will hopefully make a difference.
As for me, I will be out and about spreading the word. September’s activities include the Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange [ https://www.bloomberg.com/lp/d4gx/], the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data Board meeting [www.data4sdgs.org/], meetings with Director of the United Nations Statistics Division and his colleagues, and the Valuing Statistics conference.
If you have some other opportunities to spread the word about the IAOS, or have information to share with others interested in official statistics, contact me at contactIAOS@gmail.com