October 2015

Statistics: a data science of the 21st century

Peter Diggle, Lancaster University

Venue:  Room A54, Postgraduate Statistics Centre, Lancaster University

Date:  Thursday 22-10-2015, 4 - 5pm 

The rise of data science could be seen as a potential threat to the long-term status of the statistics discipline. I first argue that, although there is a threat, there is also a much greater opportunity to re-emphasize the universal relevance of statistical methods to the interpretation of data, and I give a short historical outline of the increasingly important links between statistics and information technology.  The core of the paper is a summary of several recent research projects, through which I hope to demonstrate that statistics makes an essential, but incomplete, contribution to the emerging field of 'electronic health' research.  Finally, I offer personal thoughts on how statistics might best be organised in a research-led university, on what we should teach our students and on some of the issues broadly related to data science where the Royal Statistical Society can take a lead.