ASA Commends NSF for Initiative, Commitment to Increase Profile of Statistics within Agency

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In response to an initiative announced today by the National Science Foundation to examine funding for statistical sciences research at NSF, the American Statistical Association issued the following statement. ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein commended NSF leadership for its commitment to recognizing the best approaches for recognizing the statistical sciences and the contributions that statisticians are making to NSF's mission.

Statistics is a distinct, mature scientific discipline that every day is promoting and enabling scientific progress, and is especially poised to contribute in this age of Big Data.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today an initiative to “examine funding for statistical sciences research at NSF including organizational alternatives and new initiatives.” The NSF also affirmed its “strong commitment to the statistical sciences.”

Ronald L. Wasserstein, executive director of the American Statistical Association (ASA), issued the following statement on the NSF announcement:

“The ASA commends the leadership of the National Science Foundation for its commitment to identify the best organizational approaches for recognizing the statistical sciences and the contributions that statisticians are making to NSF’s mission.

“Statisticians interact with a wide range of engineering, education and other sciences—physics, biology, chemistry, social and behavioral sciences, computer science and geology to name a few. Statistics is a distinct, mature scientific discipline that every day is promoting and enabling scientific progress, and is especially poised to contribute in this age of Big Data.

“Raising the profile of statistics within NSF is an important step for our scientific discipline to fulfill its potential. Further, we believe that increasing the profile of statistics will help the agency fulfill its mission to support scientific advancement, discovery and innovation.

“To that end, we pledge our assistance to NSF and its leaders as they explore alternatives and we welcome the opportunity to provide further insight on the unique role of statisticians in science, engineering and education.”

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 more than 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 website at http://www.amstat.org or call (703) 684-1221.

For more information:
Jeffrey A. Myers
Office: (703) 684-1221, Ext. 1865; Cell: (540) 623-7777
Jeffrey[at]amstat.org

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