11th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
11–16 September 2022
Rosario, Argentina

Thomas Lumley

Professor of Biostatistics, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Keynote 1

Statistics in the media: learning and teaching

Statistical misinterpretations in the mass media are important for their impact on public knowledge, but they are also informative as to what topics journalists and readers understand or don't understand. StatsChat (statschat.org.nz) is the blog of the University of Auckland Department of Statistics, centered around statistics in the media. The blog was started in 2013, aiming to raise the public profile of the department and to provide useful examples for statistics teachers. Somewhat unexpectedly, journalists have also become an important audience. I had expected the main topics to be uncertainty and confounding; these do come up, but in fact the use of appropriate denominators has been the most important statistical issue. Because I work in medical statistics, I have also written quite a few posts about the over-interpretation of biomedical and health research in the news, and whether this is attributable to reporters or to researchers and their public relations offices (it’s a mixture). These posts pursue the statistician’s role of being precise about what questions are actually being asked and answered using the data. In this presentation, I will explore what statistics in the media says about public understanding of statistics and science, and what the success of the blog says about interest in these topics.


Dr Walter J. Radermacher

Department of Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany
Munich chair ISI Advisory Board on Ethics
President Federation of European National Statistical Societies (FENStatS)

Keynote 2

Professional Ethics and Statistical Education

Good statistics is more than sound methodology and modern technology. For statistical information to be of high quality and 'fit for purpose', there needs to be a common language and sufficient literacy for both, statisticians and users, and not least an ethical foundation of professional values. Statisticians work within a variety of economic, cultural, legal and political settings, each of which influences the emphasis and focus of statistical inquiry. They also work within one of several different branches of their discipline, each involving its own techniques and procedures and, possibly, its own ethical approach. This makes it all the more important to provide statisticians with an ethical compass to help them perform their work in a reasonable way. The aim of the ISI Declaration on Professional Ethics is to enable the statistician's individual ethical judgments and decisions to be informed by shared values and experience, rather than by rigid rules imposed by the profession. Shared professional values of this Declaration are Respect, Professionalism, Truthfulness and Integrity.
Obviously, this raises the question of how these principles can be 'lived' and, above all, how statistical literacy, in which this framework of values is understood as an important component of professional competences, can be achieved in practice. For scientific research and training, this means, for example, educating students to become responsible professionals, reflectively questioning the wider context of science and scientific progress, and helping to ensure that new technologies are shaped in a way that is compatible with ethical principles from the outset.


Sir David Spiegelhalter

Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England

Keynote 3

The Joy of Data: Communicating the Importance and Excitement of Statistics

The pandemic has demonstrated how important data becomes at a time of crisis. But good data is essential whenever we are faced we complex questions about what is going on in society. I will tell some stories from experience, from investigating whether a serial murderer could have been caught earlier, to measuring sexual behaviour and communicating about Covid, to show that statistical and data science are vital skills in the modern world.


Gabriel Frontons

Coordinador de Ministerio de la Producción de la Provincia de Santa Fe (Coordinator of the Ministry of Production of Santa Fe), Argentina – en licencia (on leave)
Director de IPEC, Intituto Provicial de Estadística y Censos (Director of IPEC, Provincial Institute of Statistics and Censuses), Argentina

Keynote 4

El papel de la educación estadística, la alfabetización y la investigación para el IPEC

En la moderna sociedad del dato y de la información la educación estadística posee un rol central en todos los niveles del sistema educativo. La capacidad de interactuar de manera correcta con datos confiables resulta crucial para el desempeño de las personas en el complejo entorno social, económico, político e institucional en el cual se desenvuelven. Para IPEC la alfabetización estadística posee un rol relevante al promover el acceso, la lectura y la utilización de los datos producidos por los organismos oficiales de estadística, y también, al propiciar la responsabilidad ciudadana al momento de participar en los operativos estadísticos como respondientes. Para la enseñanza de la estadística se considera de interés y utilidad lograr la activa participación de estudiantes en la identificación y resolución de problemas reales en el marco del desarrollo de proyectos de investigación que involucren aspectos estadísticos y análisis de datos.


Marcos Nascimento Magalhães

Associate Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Keynote 5

Invite your students' brains to come to the classroom too

The understanding of the basic ideas of Statistics by society is an important element for citizenship and, in this sense, the school plays a central role. Learning at different school levels depends on the full involvement of students in classroom activities, which remains an important challenge to be faced. In particular, this challenge is present in the teaching of Statistics content by the Mathematics teacher in basic education and also in basic Statistics courses in the various university careers. Although grade levels have different contexts, there are similar initiatives that teachers can develop to seek effective student engagement. In this presentation, we discuss some recommendations from the specialized literature and describe initiatives that have been developed in disciplines under my responsibility. So far, we've used activities to try to connect students' brains with the classroom environment. Would anyone prefer to change that and bet on the wide availability of the “brainphone”?

Convide o cérebro dos seus estudantes para também vir à sala de aula

A compreensão das ideias básicas da Estatística pela sociedade é um elemento importante para a cidadania e, nesse sentido, a escola desempenha um papel central. A aprendizagem nos diferentes níveis escolares depende do pleno envolvimento dos alunos nas atividades em sala de aula, o que continua sendo um importante desafio a ser enfrentado. Em particular, esse desafio está presente no ensino de conteúdos de Estatística pelo professor de Matemática na educação básica e também nos cursos básicos de Estatística nas diversas carreiras universitárias. Embora os níveis de ensino tenham contextos diferentes, existem iniciativas semelhantes que os professores podem desenvolver para buscar o envolvimento efetivo dos alunos. Nesta apresentação, discutimos algumas recomendações da literatura especializada e descrevemos iniciativas que vêm sendo desenvolvidas em disciplinas sob minha responsabilidade. Até agora, usamos atividades para tentar conectar o cérebro dos alunos com o ambiente da sala de aula. Será que alguém prefere mudar isso e apostar numa ampla disponibilidade do “cérebrofone”?


Steve MacFeely

World Health Organization (WHO), Division for Data and Analytics

Keynote 6

Life, the universe, and everything: a discussion about the changing nature of data, its sources, its uses and what this might mean for statistics

Data, the single word that defines our age. Today, data have assumed a new importance for economies and societies. They are at the heart of almost every activity, a ubiquitous globalized resource, easily shared, duplicated, traded and exchanged. Data transcend borders, challenge national sovereignty and are increasingly being thought of as a new form of capital. Data are used for the development of products and services that generate value, and are key building blocks of communications, government, social media, the cloud, blockchain, the internet of things and crypto-currencies.
This new importance of data, combined with its redefinition to include text, images and sound, and its many new sources raises many important questions for statistics. Not least, what is the relationship between statistics and data science? Are existing data and statistical quality frameworks adequate? Are university courses preparing students for this new world? Do we need a global data compact to regulate this super complex environment? These are some of the questions explored.