26 August 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

Many members will have seen the recent news regarding the use of pre-prints in fellowship applications submitted to the Australian Research Council (ARC). A recent rule change meant that any applications that cited pre-prints, such as those available on pre-print servers such as the arXiv, were ruled ineligible. The Statistical Society of Australia, along with several other scientific societies, Heads of Schools of Mathematics and Statistics, and Directors of ARC Centres of Excellence, considers this to be unacceptable. We have called on the ARC to rescind this rule in an open letter that you can read here. My thoughts are with any of our members that may have been affected: a massive amount of work goes into these applications, and it is disheartening for any application to be deemed ineligible due to this ridiculous rule. Given the massive amount of discussion that this rule has generated, I am optimistic that the ARC will reverse this rule change soon. 

In other news, I recently represented the Society at the annual Committee of Presidents of Statistical Society Friends’ meeting. This meeting draws together the top statistical societies from around the world to share their highlights from the past year. Two key themes emerged: the first was the importance of working towards truly equitable, inclusive and diverse societies; the second was what conferences will look like as restrictions ease and in-person meetings become possible again. Many of the benefits of virtual conferences – reduced costs, the ability to attend form anywhere – will be difficult to leave behind. It seems that many societies will explore hybrid events, or plan for some virtual and some in-person meetings. There are certainly upsides and downsides of in-person and virtual meetings!

Jessica Kasza
SSA President

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Defending scientific integrity and statisticians

A statement on the case of Greek economist and statistician Dr Andreas Georgiou by the  Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (of the International Science Council) has recently been published. 

Dr Georgiou was President of Greece’s national statistical office from 2010 to 2015 and is facing further legal proceedings against him on charges of conspiring to artificially inflate Greece’s deficit statistics despite being acquitted of these charges three times.

The SSA endorses this statement and would invite you to share/endorse this statement through your organisations/contacts. 

Read the statement here.

ECSSC 2021 Video Recordings

The ECSSC 2021 may be over but if you missed a talk or just wanted to rewatch a session the ECSSC committee has made it easy for you. Just click here to see the recording of the conference.

Fellowship Funding Support

The SSA is once again offering Fellowship Funding Support for our members applying for ARC DECRA and Future Fellowships (Level 1): $3000 to complement your Fellowship activities.

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2021. 

For more information and the application form, see the website here.

ACEMS Lecture: The Origami of Data Science

Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen, ACEMS Deputy Director, QUT

Thursday, 2 September at 12 pm AEST - online

In this public lecture, Professor Kerrie Mengersen will discuss her attempts at the origami of data science. These include folding new methods and computational approaches into products such as an online atlas of cancer, a virtual Great Barrier Reef, an ethical social discourse platform, and a personalised learning program.

Register for your free zoom link

Statistics show that Covid claims 100 lives a day on average across the UK

If you are following COVID-19 statistics, you’ll be interested in this article in “The Guardian” by Natalie GroverNiamh McIntyrePamela Duncan and Tobi Thomas, dated 25 August 2021. It breaks down current figures and attempts to look at the profiles of those who are dying to see how they compare to previous waves, taking into account vaccinations.

Read the article here.

Call for submission of manuscripts for SPP

Statistics, Politics, and Policy, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by German publisher house De Gruyter, studies the ways that statistical analysis drives public policy decisions and publishes significant research on the application of statistical ideas to problems that relate to society, politics and policy implementation.

The SPP just announced a call for submission of suitable manuscripts for 2022:

Research on Polarization

The call is ending on 31 December 2021. Details are available here.

SPP exclusively publishes in English and features a high-profile board of editors with diverse international backgrounds and longstanding expertise. All submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed by experts of the related fields and disciplines and only selected for print if they are found suitable in quality.

Submissions are accepted without extensive pre-formatting and style adaptation during review process. Papers can be adapted to the journal’s production format after acceptance.

Contact: Felix Ettensperger, Assistant Managing Editor of Statistics, Politics and Policy, Universität Freiburg, Comparative Politics.

Find out more about "Statistics, Politics and Policy" here

Free Summer School on Survey Statistics 2021

3 Sep 2021 - Online

The International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) is offering a Summer School in September 2021.

The Summer School is organized by the Baltic-Nordic-Ukrainian (BNU) Network on Survey Statistics. The network currently includes partners from eight countries: Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine.

The main aim of the summer school is to promote scientific and educational cooperation in survey and official statistics between statisticians interested in new trends in the area.

The Summer School 2021 comprises sessions of keynote lectures, invited lectures and contributed papers. Main topics for keynote lectures are Data integration, Machine Learning and Small area estimation. Other topics related to survey and official statistics are welcomed to be presented as lectures or contributed papers.

Virtual sessions in English: Friday 3, 10, 17 and 24 September 2021 at 15-18 (UTC+3)

Virtual Sessions in Russian: Saturday 4, 11, 18 and 25 September 2021 at 11:00-14.30 (UTC+3)

The summer school is free and open for anyone interested, but you need to register prior to the event. Information on registration and contributed paper submission can be found on the event website.

To register click here.

ACSPRI's 2022 Summer Program

17 Jan 2022 – 18 Feb 2022 - Online

ACSPRI's 2022 Summer Program is offering courses over 4 weeks in January and February 2022. 

  • Classes will run across 2 to 5 days in blocks of 'online time'.
  • Classes will be restricted to 12 people to maintain the interactivity and applied nature of the courses.
  • Depending on the course, you will receive reading, notes and general information about the course in advance.
  • All other software requirements will be listed on the course page & you will be contacted in advance to make sure you have what you need.
  • Prior to the course, you will have an opportunity to test your setup with ACSPRI support staff.
  • ACSPRI understand that networking is a very important part of your ACSPRI experience. Over the week there will be ample opportunities to interact with your fellow classmates and instructor as well as work on applied exercises.
For the complete listing of the courses offered and how to enroll, please click here.

SSA Canberra branch meeting - Biostatistics collaborations in Health and Social research: The road taken

31 August 2021 - 5:45 AEST

SSA Canberra invites you to its August branch meeting, featuring Alberto Nettel-Aguirre who heads leads the Centre for Health and Social Analytics within National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia at UOW.

The Zoom presentation starts at 5:45pm and the meeting will be open from 5:30pm.

Unfortunately, no virtual pre-drinks and nibbles will be provided this time around. Due to the COVID-19 situation in Canberra, there will be no dinner after the branch meeting.

RSVP: Please register in advance for this meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

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