A statement from RSS president, Deborah Ashby
As RSS President, I’d like both to express my sorrow over recent events in the United States - and the underlying injustices they’ve again exposed - and to stress the RSS’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
I’d also like to strongly endorse the statement
made by our friends and counterparts in the American Statistical Association.
In common with the ASA’s leadership, I’ve long believed that statistics can play a key role in helping to identify, highlight and tackle the injustices and inequalities in society. Tragically, everyone has just had an awful reminder of how urgent and essential that work continues to be - especially while racism remains so embedded worldwide.
At the RSS, I believe we’ve made a good start, over recent years in becoming a more open, inclusive and welcoming community. We've introduced and implemented a diversity and inclusion policy
, improved our professional Code
, and strengthened our approach towards conduct at RSS activities and events
But this is an opportune moment for us to consider how we could go further and faster. As President, I’d like us to reflect on how the RSS might play its part in responding to the recent awful events in Minneapolis, which have caused such revulsion worldwide, and ensure that some good might emerge from such tragedy.
I’d like it to form a key part of our Council discussions later in June. It’ll also be a top personal priority for the final six months of my RSS presidency.
Like the ASA, I believe statistics can be a powerful force for reform and a real driver of positive change. I’m determined that we should join them in re-doubling our efforts to support and encourage diversity in the statistical community: in the process, we can endeavour to turn a tragic scandal into a force for the common good.
Professor Deborah Ashby
President of the Royal Statistical Society