ASA Participates in Global Observance of World Statistics Day October 20

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The American Statistical Association will observe the first World Statistics Day (WSD) on October 20, along with governments, statistical agencies and associations in the United States and around the world. WSD was declared by the United Nations to celebrate the service provided by the global statistical system and to help strengthen awareness and trust of the public in official statistics. The organizers and sponsoring agencies want to raise awareness of the many achievements of official statistics premised on the core values of service, integrity, innovation and professionalism--the UN’s impetus for the worldwide event.

National Statistics: Sound Science, Sound Policy, Strong Democracy

The American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation’s preeminent statistical society, will observe the first World Statistics Day (WSD) on October 20, along with governments, statistical agencies and associations in the United States. WSD was declared by the United Nations to celebrate the service provided by the global statistical system and to help strengthen awareness and trust of the public in official statistics. The organizers and sponsoring agencies want to raise awareness of the many achievements of official statistics premised on the core values of service, integrity, innovation and professionalism--the UN’s impetus for the worldwide event.

ASA is an organizer and, as part of a consortium of statistical organizations, a sponsor of “National Statistics: Sound Science, Sound Policy, Strong Democracy,” a breakfast briefing and open house on Capitol Hill to celebrate the contributions of statistics toward informing public policy and improving human welfare. The event will take place from 8:30—10:30 am on October 20 in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building (2168 RHOB). A light breakfast will be available and speakers will be heard from 9—9:45 a.m.

“Government statistics are fundamental to our democracy,” said Ron Wasserstein, ASA executive director. “They inform sound policy on the economy and societal issues, guide economic development, and much more. ASA commends our colleagues in federal, state, and local statistical agencies for their commitment to and professionalism in producing statistical data of utmost quality and praises their constant innovative efforts to address changing needs and constant challenges.”

ASA Observance Activities

Beginning October 18 ASA is streaming videos from its Distinguished Statistician interview series. Videos will be available for viewing at this link: http://www.amstat.org/outreach/wsd.cfm. The following videos will be streamed:

  • Censuses and Surveys: 50 Years, by Morris H. Hansen (1985), 55 minutes
  • Broadening the Scope of Statistics and Statistical Education, by Fred Mosteller (1987), 52 minutes
  • A Perspective on the History of Statistical Education in the United States, by Bob Hogg (1998), 59 minutes
  • Politics and Federal Statistics, by Janet Norwood (2000), 57 minutes
  • The Statistical Century, by Brad Efron (2001), 60 minutes

In addition, AmstatNews, ASA’s magazine, has three pieces in the print and online in the October issue, available at http://magazine.amstat.org/, including the ASA President’s column with a sidebar from Census Director Bob Groves. ASA Communications also has developed a World Statistics Day Poster to commemorate the occasion; this can be viewed or downloaded at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/wsd/docs/USA_wsd_flyer.jpg.

Capitol Hill Briefing Details

Appearing on the program will be Chief Statistician of the United States Katherine Wallman, Office of Management and Budget as Moderator. Speakers include current U.S. Census Bureau Director Dr. Robert Groves, former Census Director Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, and J. Steven Landefeld, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Members of Congress and their staffs also have been invited to participate.

Remarks will highlight the many contributions of government statistics to economic and social development and smarter, more effective government. Throughout the event, senior leaders of each of the federal statistical agencies (listed below) will be available to talk with attendees.

In addition to ASA, the organizing/planning committee for the event includes the following organizations, which also are co-sponsors: American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS), Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), Council on Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP), and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS).

The Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP), also a co-sponsor of the event, consists of 14 federal statistical agencies: Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Census Bureau, Economic Research Service (ERS), Energy Information Administration (EIA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), National Science Foundation (NSF), Social Security Administration (SSA), and Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of IRS.

Other World Statistics Day Resources

The international World Statistics Day web site, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/wsd/

The ASA’s “Statistical Significance” series of data sheets highlighting the important contributions that statisticians make to society, from healthcare and economy to national security and the environment. Click on the links to view individual posters.
http://www.amstat.org/outreach/statsig.cfm

Biographies of statisticians in history include such notables as Florence Nightingale:
http://www.amstat.org/about/statisticiansinhistory/index.cfm?fuseaction=bios

About the American Statistical Association
Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Statistical Association is the world’s largest community of statisticians and the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. For 170 years, the ASA has supported excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy. Its members serve in industry, government, and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare. For additional information about the American Statistical Association, please visit the ASA web site at http://www.amstat.org or call 703.684.1221.

For more information:
Rosanne Desmone                
Public Relations Manager            
American Statistical Association            
703.302.1861 direct                
703.946.3820 mobile                
rosanne(at)amstat(dot)org

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