Log in

Webinar: Learning about Covid-19 Known Unknowns: the essential role of statisticians

  • 14 Apr 2020 10:21 AM
    Message # 8897099
    Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The Statistical Society is pleased to announce the following webinar:

    Learning about Covid-19 Known Unknowns: the essential role of statisticians
    with Nicholas Fisher and Dennis Trewin,

    held on Thursday, 16 Apr 2020 at 12:00 PM AEST.

    About this webinar:

    Understanding and controlling the spread of COVID-19 is critically dependent on the availability of high-quality data to inform modelling and forecasting, and to monitor the efficacy of government actions.  However, the currently available data are largely observational or, if planned, focused on very specific groups in the population.  It is appropriate to ask:  What about the data we need to inform decision-making but haven’t got – the known unknowns?  There are several categories:  people who haven’t had the virus, those who have the virus but are asymptomatic, those who have symptoms but have not been tested, those who are actually ill, those who have had the virus and recovered, and potentially those who have recovered and then lapsed.

    Fortunately, there is a long-established and cost-effective statistical approach to acquiring reliable data for such purposes, and it is relatively straightforward to implement.  It involves selecting people – men, women, and children – at random and testing them to identify which categories they fall into.  Professional statisticians need to be involved at the highest level of decision-making in relation to how a suitable program is designed and deployed.  There is a real opportunity for the statistical profession to give a prominent demonstration of the important contribution it makes to national affairs.

    The Government needs to act on this now.  The welfare of all Australians is at stake.  Every day’s delay in implementing this program will be costly.

    About the presenters

    Nicholas Fisher PhD DSc

    After three decades as a research statistician in CSIRO, Nick left his position as Chief Research Scientist in 2001 to found ValueMetrics Australia, an R&D consultancy that carries out R&D in Performance Measurement, in which area he has consulted to a  wide variety of business, industry and Government clients in Australia and overseas. He is also originator and leader of the International Data Science in Schools Project ( He holds an honorary position as Visiting Professor of Statistics at the University of Sydney, and is professionally accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia and by the American Statistical Association.  

    Dennis Trewin AO FASSA

    Mr Trewin was trained as a Statistician but has had 40 years of executive management experience in official statistics in Australia and New Zealand. He was the 2000 – 2007 Australian Statistician. He has also been an Electoral Commissioner and an Associate Commissioner at the Productivity Commission. He has chaired and been a member of Boards/Councils in the superannuation and university sectors. He is the current Chair of the Australian Mathematics Trust. He has also chaired several NGO Boards associated with international statistical activities.  He is professionally accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia.

    To register
    This event is free, but you will need to register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

    If you have any questions, please contact me.

    Would you please note that the time stated is AEST? 

    Kind regards,

    Marie-Louise Rankin
    Executive Officer
    Statistical Society of Australia

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software