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21 April 2014

NSO celebrates year of statistics

 - Wednesday, 02 January 2013, 11:19

The National Statistics Office this year joins more than 1,400 participating organisations from 108 countries in marking the International Year of Statistics.

Statistics affect our lives in many ways. The International Year of Statistics, being marked this year, is a global celebration and recognition of the contributions of statistical science. Through the combined energies of organisations worldwide “Statistics2013”, as it has been dubbed, will promote the importance of statistics to the broader scientific community, business and government data users, the media, policy makers, employers, students, and the general public. The International Year of Statistics is an initiative of several associations, supported by over 1,400 organisations and institutes from all over the world.

Through a series of events and projects, participating organisations aim to heighten public awareness in statistics and the impact they have on our daily lives and on our long-term objectives. Statistics can be concisely described as aggregated sets of factual information on various aspects that characterise different groups and communities. Such numbers are ageless and have been a part of our lives, in one form or another, for many centuries.

Statistics2013 aspires to depart from the customary academic perspective of viewing the sciences of probability and statistics, and move towards the platform of creativity and development. One way to achieve this goal is by highlighting and promoting statistics as an attractive and fulfilling profession, especially among young people.

The National Statistics Office is Malta’s participating organisation in this worldwide initiative. A seven-member committee has been tasked to organise activities to mark this year in a special way.

Throughout the year, the NSO will be joining national statistical institutes, universities, statistical societies, research institutes and students’ organisations in observing the International Year of Statistics. Various initiatives are planned with the aim of targeting specific but different audiences.

Examples include theatre in education with statistical content for school children and a special publication in the form of a bilingual glossary of statistical terms for journalists and academics.

How the whole idea came about

The American Statistical Association (ASA), after consulting the International Statistical Institute (ISI), learned that the Bernoulli Society was already far along in planning a celebration in 2013 of the 300th anniversary of Jakob Bernoulli’s Ars Conjectandi, the seminal work in probability. Bayes’ Theorem was also first presented publicly in 1763, making this year the 250th anniversary of that important work. With this in mind, a committee of representatives from five¹ international statistical societies agreed to collaborate to make 2013 the International Year of Statistics.

The International Year of Statistics public website was launched yesterday at www.statistics2013.org. Users are encouraged to view the informative two-minute video on the website’s home page.

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