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Florence Nightingale Lecture – Tuesday 1st December 2020

01 Dec 20

We are delighted to announce that our postponed Florence Nightingale Lecture has been rescheduled for Tuesday 1st December 2020.  This event will run as a Zoom Webinar and is kindly being hosted by the ICMS.

3.00 pm   Florence Nightingale Bicentenary Lecture

Speaker:  Professor Deborah Ashby, President of the RSS

Bio:          Deborah Ashby is Director of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London where she holds the Chair in Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials, and was Founding Co-Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit. She is a Chartered Statistician and her research interests are in clinical trials, risk-benefit decision making for medicines, and the utility of Bayesian approaches in these areas. She has sat on the UK Commission on Human Medicines and acts as adviser to the European Medicines Agency. Deborah was awarded the OBE for services to medicine in 2009, appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2010, and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012. She is currently President of the Royal Statistical Society.

Title:         Florence Nightingale and the politicians’ pigeon holes: using data for the good of society

Abstract: Florence Nightingale, best known as the Lady with the Lamp, is recognised as a pioneering and passionate statistician. She was also passionate about education, having  argued successfully with her parents to be allowed to study mathematics, and later nursing, herself.  More widely, she offered opinions on the education of children, soldiers, army doctors, and nurses, as well as railing against the ‘enforced idleness’ of women. A particular concern was the lack of statistical literacy among politicians. As we celebrate the bicentenary of her birth, the need for education in statistical and data skills shows no signs of abating. What advice would Florence Nightingale offer were she here today?

4.00 pm   Short break

4.15 pm   Panel Session about the role of statistics in society


Panel members:

Professor Deborah Ashby OBE FMedSci, President of The Royal Statistical Society Professor Sir David Cox FRS Hon FBA Hon FRSE Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE FRS Panel Chair: Professor Jennifer Rogers, RSS Vice-president for external affairs


This event is generously sponsored by XTX Markets in partnership with the Royal Statistical Society.

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Previous Lectures:

2019   Florence Nightingale Lecture given by Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

2017   Florence Nightingale Lecture given by Sir Andrew Dilnot

2016   Florence Nightingale Lecture given by Professor Dame Janet Thornton

2015   Florence Nightingale Lecture given by Professor Christl Donnelly (Relaunch of Lecture Series)