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Life’s journey

I was pleased a few weeks ago to write a few words to help celebrate the special birthday of one long standing statistician friend, and the impending retirement of another.  A young couple we know have just had a baby; we have new neighbours moved in to the house next door to us; and our daughter has told us of her promotion at work.  Births, birthdays, house moves, promotions and retirements are some of the events that mark out our lives, which we often choose to celebrate.

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Life’s journey
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Ukraine

The question as to whether to issue a statement on the invasion of Ukraine, and if so what it should say, has been the most challenging issue to face me in my Presidency to date. 

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The depths of winter – the warmth of summer

As you know the British are rather obsessed with the weather.  Possibly because we have a moderately temperate climate where the seasons merge slowly into each other.  So it is rather natural that I comment about the weather here in the UK when I write these blogs.  And in recent weeks we have had cold crispy mornings, with frost on the lawn – ideal for walking and fresh air.

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The depths of winter – the warmth of summer
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New Year – new beginnings

Happy New Year to all our members and friends

Happy New Year to all our members and friends.  I hope everyone had a break over the holidays and you are all keeping well in these COVID times.  All our hopes are for good health and the resumption of as near to normal activities we can have in the next twelve months.

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New Year – new beginnings
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December – time for celebration, friends and family

The end of this month traditionally brings celebrations, for people of all religions and those of none, and the chance for family and friends to meet up.  Except that may not be the case in these uncertain COVID times, and many families are still in a position of not having met for some months.

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December – time for celebration, friends and family
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International meetings begin to open up

I am sitting in the waiting room at Rotterdam station, writing this blog, while I wait for the Eurostar train back home to London.  Because for me, October was the month when international travel began to open up.  I know this won’t be the case for all countries, and we cannot be sure that the good news will be sustained (as I write the infection rates in both the Netherlands and the UK are rising).  But more countries are developing plans to open up, and for those of us whose work is around international networking, this can only be a good thing.

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International meetings begin to open up
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Statistics Day 20 October 2021

Today is being celebrated as Statistics Day in many countries, indeed it is recognised as European Statistics Day in the EU.  I know there are other Statistics Days in other parts of the world – e.g., African Statistics Day on 18 November.  I will be celebrating the day by speaking today at two conferences – one in Malaysia and one in Sweden (the benefits of virtual conferences!).

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Statistics Day 20 October 2021
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The joy of meeting statisticians!

What a joy it was to travel up to Manchester earlier this month and discuss statistics with live people in a conference room!  Well done Royal Statistical Society for putting on a great conference with ‘in the room’ and virtual attendees. For me the delight was being back in a proper conference environment again and visiting a city I hardly know.

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The joy of meeting statisticians!
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What have you been doing in the holidays?

When I was small, on return to school in September, we had to write an essay: ‘What I did in the summer holidays’.  So with apologies to ISI members in the southern hemisphere (maybe imagine it’s February?) I thought I would make this the theme of this ‘summer’ blog.

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What have you been doing in the holidays?
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Looking back at the success of the WSC and starting my term as ISI President

Starting a term of office at the end of the WSC feels very strange.  But in some ways it is ideal.  I have always found the WSC an uplifting experience and always go home with lots of notes about ideas to follow up and of new people I have met to keep in touch with.  Not so much of the latter this time, given its virtual nature, but plenty of highlights.  I will be using future blogs to set out some thoughts for the future but thought I would use this first blog to reflect on the WSC just past.

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Looking back at the success of the WSC  and starting my term as ISI President