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Irish Statistical Association (ISA) Gossett Lecture 2017

Irish Statistical Association (ISA) Gossett Lecture 2017

Irish Statistical Association (ISA) Gossett Lecture 2017

  • 28 Feb 2017

The ISA Gossett lecture 2017 will be delivered by the distinguished Professor David Hand OBE (Imperial College London) in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson St., Dublin on April 6th at 6:00pm.

Please note tickets are required. These are available free of charge at


Title: The dangers of not seeing what isn’t there: selection bias in statistical modelling

In general, in statistics and data science, more is better in the sense that larger data sets mean that smaller effects can be detected and more confidence can be placed in any statistical conclusions.  But this is only true if we have confidence that the data represent the underlying reality fairly. All too often the available data have undergone unobserved selection or distortion processes, which can mean they are potentially misleading. This applies in human interactions - where it has been suggested that the notion that ‘data=all’ can replace the need for careful theorising and statistical modelling - but also in the hard sciences and medicine.

This talk gives examples of such cases, showing how ignorance of selection mechanisms has led to mistakes and even disasters. These mechanisms are described, and strategies for tackling the problem are outlined.

 This event is run in partnership with the Irish Statistical Association.  It will be followed by a reception partially sponsored by Diageo.

Kathleen O’Sullivan

Vice President ISA

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