Honorary Fellowship

Honorary Fellowships are awarded to individuals of great eminence working in fields related to statistics who are not necessarily or primarily members of the statistical profession.  Awards should be directed towards nominees who are aligned with the RSS’s charter and values and are likely to actively support the RSS’s strategy.  An Honorary Fellowship is a lifetime award.
A nominee should meet the following criteria:

  • Exemplary contribution to statistics or an adjacent field
  • Commitment to support the RSS and its values
  • Supporter of the wider community
  • An individual respected by peers
  • An individual that would value being an honorary fellow of the Society

The nomination process is, and should remain, confidential. Therefore, nominations should:
  • Detail what exemplary contributions the nominee has made and in which fields
  • Explain how the recipient could support the Society’s strategy and its Charter objectives (see below)
  • Detail how the recipient supports the wider community 

Royal Statistical Society Charter
The objects for which the Society is constituted are the advancement for the benefit of the public of the science of statistics and its application, and the promotion of the use and awareness of statistics; in particular by:
  1. fostering and encouraging the growth, development and application of such science in all areas of activity which can benefit from it;
  2. establishing, upholding and advancing high standards of statistical competence;
  3. fostering the production and publication of statistics on aspects of society;
  4. serving the public interest by acting in an advisory, consultative or representative capacity in matters relating to the science of statistics and its application;
  5. promoting the public understanding of statistics and the competent use and interpretation of statistics.


2024 recipients:

John Burn-Murdoch has been awarded the honorary fellowship for his major role in media explanations of Covid data during the pandemic and more generally for his clear exposition of various complex topics using visualisations.

Hannah Ritchie has won the honorary fellowship for her important role during the pandemic as a communicator of Covid data to the public. Considered a rising star in the profession, her book on the data surrounding environmental challenges was published in 2024.  

Andrew Ng has been awarded the Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his research, primarily in machine learning, deep learning, machine perception, computer vision, and natural language processing.


2023 recipient:


Walter Radermacher is elected as an Honorary Fellow in recognition of his dedicated and significant contributions to statistics, and particularly official statistics, internationally. 

The Honorary Fellowship is made each year if a suitable candidate is nominated.