Hans Rosling is Professor of International Health at the Karolinska Institutet and Director of Gapminder Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden. From 1967 to 1974 he studied statistics and medicine at Uppsala University, and in 1972 he studied public health at St John’s Medical College, Bangalore. He became a licensed physician in 1976 and from 1979 to 1981 he served as District Medical Officer in Nacala, northern Mozambique.
On 21 August 1981, he discovered an outbreak of a formerly unknown paralytic disease. These investigations earned him a Ph.D. at Uppsala University in 1986. He spent two decades studying outbreaks of this disease in remote rural areas across Africa and supervised 10 PhD students. His research group named the new disease konzo, the name used by the first affected population.
His research has also focused on other links between economic development, agriculture, poverty and health in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has been adviser to WHO, UNICEF and aid agencies. He has initiated new university collaborations between Sweden and Asia, Africa and the Arab countries. He also started courses on Global Health, co-authored a textbook on Global Health.
To promote the use of statistics in learning about the global changes he co-founded the Gapminder Foundation together with his son and daughter-in-law. Gapminder developed the Trendalyzer software that converts time series statistics into moving, interactive and attractive graphics. The aim is to promote a fact based world view through increased use and understanding of freely accessible public statistics. His lectures using Gapminder graphics to visualise world development have won awards by being “humorous, yet deadly serious.” Videos from his lectures at the TED conference in California have been Internet hits. The interactive animations are freely available from the Foundation’s website. In March 2007 Google acquired the Trendalyzer software with the intention to scale it up and make it freely available for public statistics.
Gerd Gigerenzer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. He won the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioral sciences and the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences. He wrote the prize-winning books “Calculated Risks: How To Know When Numbers Deceive You” (2002) and “Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious” (2007). He has also published academic books on statistics and heuristics, including “The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life” (with Z. Swijtink, T. Porter, L. Daston, J. Beatty & L. Krüger), “Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart” (with Peter Todd & the ABC Research Group) and “Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox” (with Reinhard Selten, a Nobel laureate in economics). He promotes statistical thinking instead of statistical rituals (“Mindless statistics”, Journal of Socio-Economics, 33, 2004) and trains doctors and judges in understanding risks and uncertainties.
Anuška Ferligoj is Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Head of the graduate program on Statistics at the University of Ljubljana. She has been the Editor of the journal “Advances in Methodology and Statistics” (Metodoloski zvezki) since 2004 and is a member of the editorial boards of the “Journal of Mathematical Sociology”, the “Journal of Classification”, “Social Networks”, “Advances in Data Analysis and Classification”, “Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Methodology” and “Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropology and Related Sciences”.
She was a Fulbright scholar in 1990 and visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She was awarded the title of Ambassador of Science of the Republic of Slovenia in 1997. She is a member of the European Academy of Sociology. Her interests include multivariate analysis (constrained and multicriteria clustering), social networks (measurement quality and blockmodeling), and survey methodology (reliability and validity of measurement). She is the co-author of the monograph "Generalized Blockmodeling" published by Cambridge University Press (2005), which won the Harrison White Outstanding Book Award 2007, given by the Mathematical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Cliff Konold is Research Professor in the Scientific Reasoning Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A psychologist by training, he studies how people reason and learn about chance and data, and applies this research to the design of educational materials and software. He led the team that created TinkerPlots, which he continues to develop with grants from the National Science Foundation. For the past 3 years, he has been working in a local public school with students aged 12 to 14 trying to teach them something and then figuring out what they really learned.
Jessica Utts is a Professor in the Department of Statistics at University of California, Davis, where she has been on the faculty since 1978. She is very interested in applied statistics, is well known for her interest in statistics literacy and has published most extensively on the use of statistics in parapsychology. For example in 1995, with Professor Ray Hyman (University of Oregon), she prepared a U.S. Government sponsored report assessing the statistical evidence for psychic functioning in research which received wide-spread media coverage. She has written several illuminating statistics books including “Seeing Through Statistics” and with Robert Heckard “Mind On Statistics”.
Chris Wild did his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Auckland and then completed a PhD at the University of Waterloo in Canada before joining what was then the Statistics Unit of the Department of Mathematics in 1979. He has been here ever since except for visiting appointments at the University of Waterloo (1996, 1993 and 1989), the University of Washington (1983) and Birkbeck College, University of London (1983).
Currently, his main research interests are in developing methods for modelling response-selective data (e.g. case-control studies) and missing data problems, and in additive model extensions to multivariate regression techniques. A long term interest in the teaching of statistics has also developed into a research interest with particular emphasis on statistical thinking and reasoning processes.
He is a Council member of the International Statistical Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and was President of the International Association for Statistics Education (IASE) from 2003 to 2005. He is currently an Associate Editor of the International Statistical Review, and has been an Associate Editor of Biometrics, the Statistics Education Research Journal (SERJ), and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics. He was Head of Auckland’s Department of Statistics 2003-2007 and co-led the University of Auckland’s first-year statistics teaching team to a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in 2003.