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Communicating Statistics to the Media: Highs and Lows During the Pandemic (so far)
About this Webinar Series
The COPSS-NISS COVID-19 Data Science webinar series is co-organized by the Committee of the Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) and its five charter member societies (ASA, ENAR, IMS, SSC, and WNAR), as well as NISS. This bi-weekly seminar features the latest research that is positioned on the cusp of new understanding and analysis of COVID-19 pandemic data, and promotes data-driven research and decision making to combat COVID-19. Find out more about this series and view all the previous sessions on the Webinar Series page.
The current crisis is notable for the vast traffic in official and unofficial information and claims. I will offer some personal insights into the challenges of trying to bring some illumination to the statistics about the pandemic, illustrated with some examples of things have gone fairly well, and some communication disasters.
David Spiegelhalter, (Centre for Mathematical Sciences,University of Cambridge)
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, which aims to improve the way that statistical evidence is used by health professionals, patients, lawyers and judges, media and policy-makers. He has been very busy over the COVID crisis. He presented the BBC4 documentaries “Tails you Win: the Science of Chance”, the award-winning “Climate Change by Numbers”, and in 2011 came 7th in an episode of BBC1’s Winter Wipeout. His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019. He was knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics, was President of the Royal Statistical Society (2017-2018), and became a Non-Executive Director of the UK Statistics Authority in 2020. He is @d_spiegel on Twitter, and his home page is http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~david/
Rob Deardon, (University of Calgary)
Rob Deardon is a Professor of Biostatistics with a joint position in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Calgary. Much of his recent work has been in the area of infectious disease modelling, but he is also interested in Bayesian & computational statistics, experimental design, disease surveillance methods, spatio-temporal modelling, statistical learning and statistical modelling in general. He currently has a research group consisting of 11 postdocs and graduate students, and has published 65+ papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is the Graduate Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Biostatistics Graduate Program at Calgary, and served as Chair of the Statistics Section of the NSERC Discovery Grant Mathematics & Statistics Evaluation Group.
Xihong Lin (Chair) (IMS), Harvard University
Karen Bandeen-Roche (NISS), Johns Hopkins University
Chris Barker (ASA), Statistical Planning and Analysis Services, Inc
Gary Chan (WNAR), University of Washington
Rob Deardon (SSC), University of Calgary
Natalie Dean (COPSS), University of Florida
Debashree Ray (COPSS), Johns Hopkins University
Jie Peng (WNAR), University of California at Davis
Nathaniel Stevens (SSC), University of Waterloo
Elizabeth Stuart (ENAR), Johns Hopkins University
Ryan Tibshirani (IMS), Carnegie Mellon University
Lily Wang (ASA), Iowa State University
Lingzhou Xue (NISS), Pennsylvania State University
Lili Zhao (ENAR), University of Michigan
Glenn Johnson (Web Communications), NISS