RSS Conference 2021: Day 1

Events for the first day of our conference kicked-off with a well-attended pre-conference workshop, held at the venue and organised by the Young Statisticians Section (YSS) section, to introduce new conference-goers a flavour of what was to come and how to make the most of their conference experience.

RSS 2021 Conference started with a keynote session on the role that the RSS, as an organisation, has played during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. The session was held in the Conference auditorium for everyone attending in Manchester, and was livestreamed to all of those who have registered  It was followed by an evening reception at the venue for all delegates attending in Manchester.

The session was introduced by RSS President, Professor Sylvia Richardson, who welcomed everyone to the conference. She welcomed the four speakers; RSS colleagues who have been involved in very different aspects of the pandemic, from diagnostic testing to working with the media.

Professor Sheila Bird, who sits on the Society's Covid-19 Task Force and its Working Group on Diagnostic Tests, spoke first about some of the interventions the RSS has made in the area of diagnostic testing (see our Covid-19 policy documents and filter by 'Testing' to see our statements and letters on the subject). Professor Deborah Ashby, who is co-chair of the Working Group on Diagnostic Tests spoke about a report that the Working Group produced earlier this year which called for new statistical standards for diagnostic tests; and it was important not just in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, but for future diagnostic tests.

Simon Briscoe, who is also on the Covid-19 Task Force, spoke about the 'Lessons learned' memo produced by the the Task Force for the Society in March 2021 - ten lessons the government can learn, with recommendations for what they should do to ensure that the country's data infrastructure is prepared for future crises. And finally, RSS stats ambassador Anthony Masters, talked about the media work he has done to help the public better understand pandemic statistics, in particular a weekly column that he writes with Sir David Spiegelhalter, which is about to be published as a book. 

A Q&A session followed the talks, before delegates were invited into the registration area for the conference Welcome Reception.

The session was livestreamed for those accessing the conference online. It is now available to watch (for a limited time only) on demand for any conference goers who were unable to attend the session live.


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