A celebration of the life of Harvey Goldstein

A celebration of the life of Harvey Goldstein

Date: Wednesday 05 May 2021, 4.00PM
Location: Online
RSS Event

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The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) is pleased to announce a joint event with the British Academy to honour the internationally renowned statistician, Harvey Goldstein FBA, who sadly passed away a year ago.
Chaired by Sir David Spiegelhalter, you will hear from Harvey’s close friends, colleagues and collaborators about his career achievements and contributions to statistics.
Harvey was an internationally renowned statistician and social science researcher whose work had huge impact in many different academic disciplines. He is also well-known for bringing statistical expertise into the public realm, including writing at length on the uses and abuses of league tables both in education and other fields. He was an active member of the RSS throughout his career, having served on RSS Council and twice as joint editor of the Series A Journal. He was awarded the Society’s Guy Medal in Silver (1998) and made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996.
Harvey is described by colleagues as ‘always extremely generous with his time and approachable’ and we hope you will join us for a live celebration of his life and work.
This event will be hosted live on Microsoft Teams and registration is required. Joining instructions will be sent to registered delegates nearer the time.

Join us on Wednesday 5 May for a live celebration of the life of internationally renowned statistician, Harvey Goldstein.


16:00: Welcome from the chair and a reflection on Harvey Goldstein’s contribution to statistics
Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

On the 25th anniversary of their joint paper on ‘League Tables and their Limitations’, David will reflect on Harvey’s contribution to statistical methodology, educational statistics and medical statistics.


16:15: Harvey Goldstein’s formative years at the Institute of Child Health
Professor Tim Cole, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Harvey Goldstein’s first job was as a lecturer in statistics at the Institute of Child Health (now UCL) from 1964 to 1972. There he was exposed to many people and projects relating to child health research, particularly involving longitudinal studies and child growth, interests which had a considerable influence on his later career. His next job, in education research, highlighted the link between repeated measures in longitudinal data and classroom clusters in educational data, and together they stimulated him to develop his theory and practice of multilevel models.


16:30: Harvey Goldstein's contribution to multilevel modelling methodology and software
Professor William Browne, University of Bristo

In this short talk I will attempt to summarise some of Harvey's many contributions to the area of multilevel modelling. I will talk about how his earlier work in longitudinal modelling led him on to multilevel modelling and summarise some of his major contributions to the field. I will discuss what it was like being part of his research centre team in London and later in Bristol. I will highlight some of our joint work and finish by describing his later work involving MCMC estimation and missing data.


16:45: Memories of working with Harvey in educational statistics
Professor George Leckie, University of Bristol

Harvey made many important and sustained contributions to educational statistics over the past five decades, especially his methodological work developing and promoting multilevel modelling for analysing administrative and survey data on students and schools, but also his applied research and policy work statistically critiquing government school league tables and the misuse of data. In this talk, I will describe some of our joint work in these two areas these past 15 years, but I will also share many enjoyable memories I have of first being supervised by Harvey while a PhD student and later working and teaching with him.


17:00: A journey in data linkage with Harvey Goldstein
Dr Katie Harron, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Data linkage is a valuable tool for health research, allowing information from within and across datasets to be brought together without the time and cost associated with primary data collection. However, there are challenges: even small amounts of error in the linkage can lead to biased results. This talk will cover Harvey's methodological work on data linkage at the UCL Institute of Child Health brought, and the lessons I learned from him along the way.


17:15: Questions from the audience


17.30: Close



Sir David Spiegelhalter

Sir David Spiegelhalter is chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication and a former President of the Royal Statistical Society. He is dedicated to improving the way that quantitative evidence is used in society.


Professor Tim Cole

Tim Cole’s research interests relate to body size and growth as exposures and outcomes. Employed at the Institute of Child Health since 1998, and funded by the Medical Research Council for 49 years, he has developed widely-used methods for constructing growth references and summarising growth curves.


Professor William Browne

William Browne is co-director of the Centre for Multilevel Modelling in Bristol. He worked with Professor Harvey Goldstein from the late 1990s until his death. Together they co-authored 14 journal articles, 4 software guides, 3 book chapters and several software packages.


Professor George Leckie

George Leckie is a professor of social statistics and co-director of the Centre for Multilevel Modelling at the School of Education, University of Bristol, UK.


Dr Katie Harron

Katie Harron is an associate professor in quantitative methods at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Her current research links data from health, education and social care at a national level, in order to improve our understanding of the health of individuals from birth to young adulthood.

Organising group: The Royal Statistical Society and The British Academy
Contact: Amaka Nwagbara