19 November 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

When scouring the internet today to look for interesting topics for the newsletter I came across the “STATS + STORIES” page on the website of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). This page features podcasts about the statistics behind the news. The latest podcast listed is one by Glen Wright Colopy, who also manages his own podcast series on data science and engineering in healthcare technology called “Pod of Asclepius”.

Glen’s podcast is about “Monitoring Health Data”.

Another intriguing podcast is  ”What it’s like reporting on statistics for the BBC”  with guest speaker Robert Cuffe. Cuffe is the head of statistics for BBC news and a statistical ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society. Who knows, this podcast might inspire a career change for you?

Other titles include:

  • Can you still predict elections?
  • Teaching statistics after apartheid
  • Planning for a pandemic

but there are many, many more. If you decide to one day contribute a podcast of your own, please let me know and I'll be sure to advertise it to our members. For now, enjoy!

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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NSW Branch November Meeting: Just not cricket: How did sports science get stuck in the statistical outfield?

Dr Stephen Woodcock, University of Technology Sydney

Wednesday 25 November, 6pm-7pm AEDT

Despite the vast commercial value and sizeable research interest in the field, studies in sports science lie largely outside the statistical mainstream. Few within the statistics community have collaborated with practitioners in sports science. Consequently, many of the commonly-used quantitative techniques within the discipline have been developed “in house” and are largely unknown by the wider field of academic statisticians. Indeed, many studies within sports science are expected by reviewers to use the common techniques of the field, often instead of more applicable or more suitable statistical methods. On the
few occasions that some of the widely-applied concepts have drawn the attention of methodological statisticians, the result has been strong criticism of the field and a call for greater statistical understanding for sports practitioners.

Acknowledging some issues inherent to the field – small sample sizes, plus a willingness to accept findings with a weaker evidence base than in some other fields – this talk highlights some of the concepts and challenges unique to working with sports data and discusses some of their limitations as well as the criticisms levelled at them. This gulf between the statistical mainstream and practitioners in sports science represents an exciting opportunity for researchers in both fields; to improve statistical practice within the discipline as well as widen the application and impact of statistical theory.

Register here

Congratulations to new Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Fellow Rob Hyndman, whose work has influenced policy in areas ranging from pharmaceutical pricing to energy markets. He's Professor and Head of Department of Econometrics & Business Statistics at Monash University. 

Learn more

Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting

This virtual meeting will take place 7-9 December 2020 and feature the following keynote speakers: 

  • Doug Zahn (Florida State) Applications of the POWER, RAPID and LEARN Processes to Stumbling Blocks in Statistical Consulting
  • Eric Vance (Colorado) The Extraordinary Impact of Statistical Collaboration
  • Nancy Briggs (UNSW Sydney) What happens when your research meets a global pandemic

There are three parallel (two at a time) contributed sessions on:

  • The human side of consulting
  • Experiences in consulting and mentoring
  • Short courses and teaching
  • Case studies and big data
  • Models for consulting units
  • Project management

The format allows for lunch-time (AEDT) discussion sessions on topics including

1.    How can we better share short course resources?

2.    Compile a set of links to resources we can direct clients to where they can learn more stats

3.    Draft an SSA statement on appropriate co-authorship practices when consulting with a statistician

4.    Advice on consulting with HDR students

5.    Advice for starting your own consulting unit

6.    How to balance consulting with your own research

7.    Draft a statement on ethics

Details (times and hosts) will be posted on the conference web site and Slack channel as they become available. Other topics can be set up too.

Take a look at the program here. There is something for everyone interested in any aspect of consulting as a statistician!

Please submit suggestions for additional lunchtime topics and any other suggestions or queries to:

Registration CLOSES 25 November. Register here.

Go to the web site for details


Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics Editor – call for nominations now open

The International Biometric Society and the American Statistical Association have invited nominations for the position of editor of the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (JABES).

JABES publishes articles of immediate and practical value to applied researchers and statistical consultants in the agricultural sciences, the biological sciences (including biotechnology), and the environmental sciences (including those dealing with natural resources).

Nominations should be sent to no later than Friday January 15th, 2021.  Once received, nominations will be presented to the Chair of the JABES Management Committee for further consideration. Interested individuals are encouraged to nominate themselves.

More details are available here

Study Multivariate Statistical Analysis at AMSI Summer School

As part of the AMSI Summer School 2021 program, we would like to encourage students to study Multivariate Statistical Analysis this January.

Providing powerful and flexible tools for extracting meaningful information from data, multivariate statistics is used frequently in many fields of scientific research such as engineering, computer science, finance, medicine and the social sciences.

Proudly sponsored by SSA and taught by Dr Sharon Lee, this course is aimed at statistic students. It provides an introduction to various classical statistical methods for analysing multivariate data including multivariate extensions of univariate techniques and other tools that are specific for multidimensional data.

To find out more about this course, go to

AMSI Summer School 2021 will be conducted virtually and is proudly hosted by The University of Adelaide. It is an intensive opportunity for Honours, Masters and PhD students to study a specialised research area, gain university credit points towards a degree or try something new. Learn alongside other students from the mathematical sciences across the country!

Applications will close at midnight, Sunday 29 November. To apply, go to

Do you know someone who might be interested in attending? Please forward this message and spread the word!

If you have news from the Australian statistical community to share in Stats Matters and Events, please get in touch with us!

Previously advertised - don't forget these great events

Please join us for the webinar

The Advent of "Grammar": Bridging Statistics and Data Science for the Design of Experiments 

presented by Dr Emi Tanaka

on 27 November 2020, 1pm AEDT via Zoom. 

Statistics is a valuable tool for almost all scientific fields and industry to make sense of their data, yet as a field we lag behind to remain relevant, getting superseded by the so-called data science. What differentiates statistics from data science? And how does the design of experiments fit in with data science? 

In this webinar, Dr Emi Tanaka will talk about the concept of the "grammar" and the momentum it is gaining to make data analysis more accessible to a diverse group. She'll then present her prototype to the "grammar of experimental design" - a framework to construct the design of comparative experiments that cognitively enforces the experimental structure. She’ll explain some principles behind this prototype, showcase how her developmental R-package edibble will work, and how she thinks it helps to bridge the gap between experimental design theory and practice for the wider community.

Register here

Statistics in the Capital...Knibbs Lecture: A personal tour with Raymond Carroll

SSA Canberra invites you to attend this year's Knibbs lecture, which will be presented by Prof. Raymond Carroll (Texax A&M). Prof Carroll will provide a personal tour of his experience in developing statistical methods to understand how to measure dietary intakes in a population and how to relate such measures to mortality and chronic diseases. The lecture will also celebrate the 60th birthday of Prof. Alan Welsh (ANU), and his contributions to statistics.  

Date and time: 

Tuesday 24th November; 12:30pm-1:45pm AEDT.  

Learn more and RSVP here

In 2020, AMSI BioInfoSummer is going virtual! Hosted by The Australian National University (ANU), attendees will participate online over the four-day program to develop their bioinformatics skills, national networks and employability.

Featuring presentations, workshops and program extras from the best in the bioinformatics field from Australia and abroad, the AMSI BioInfoSummer 2020 program is jam packed. Start each morning with a mix of computational and biology focused lectures and research talks. Then develop your skills during the hands-on workshops. Round out your week with an interactive careers session, ePoster competition and public lecture.

Full four-day conference registrations start from $60! 

Find out more

Tired of surveys but eager to leave feedback? Tell us what you are missing from your SSA membership. Or let us know what we do well. We will listen. 

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Statistical Society of Australia |  PO Box 213 Belconnen ACT 2616 Australia 

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