Harvey Goldstein, 1939-2020

We are incredibly sad to hear about the death of internationally renowned statistician Harvey Goldstein FBA, who passed away on 9 April 2020, aged 80.

Harvey was an internationally renowned statistician and social science researcher whose work had huge impact in many different academic disciplines. He was Professor of Statistical Methods at the Institute of Education (IOE), London from 1977 until his (first) retirement in 2005, during which time he was awarded the Royal Statistical Society’s Guy Medal in Silver (1998) and made a Fellow of the British Academy (1996).

At the IOE much of Harvey’s seminal work on statistical methodology, statistical software and applications was achieved with colleagues in the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM) that he founded and led. He is perhaps best known in terms of statistical methodology for his original work into multilevel modelling with his seminal book, Multilevel Statistical Methods which has so far had four editions. However, his research contributions cover a broad range of topic areas, including the social and medical sciences. He has published well over 350 journal articles; many of which were written since his first retirement in 2005.

He is also well-known for bringing statistical expertise into the public realm, having written at length on the uses and abuses of league tables both in education and other fields, including a seminal 1996 paper with David Spiegelhalter and more recent work with George Leckie. He has advised many government departments and public bodies including the Home Office, NHS digital, ONS and HEFCE.

Harvey also promoted the statistics discipline through many roles at the Royal Statistical Society. He served on RSS Council and was twice joint editor of its Series A Journal. He is described by colleagues as ‘always extremely generous with his time and approachable’, and some of his colleagues published a retrospective of his achievements in Significance magazine earlier this year, following a lecture he delivered on his 80th birthday.

He is survived by his wife Barbara and son, Tom.

A full obituary will be published in our Series A Journal in due course.

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