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Monthly Archives: May 2019

Review: Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers 2019

Attendees at SAfJR 2019

Copenhagen, April 24th – 26th, 2019

The University of Copenhagen was proud to host the second annual Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers (SafJR) conference outside the UK. This was the 8th annual SAfJR conference. It was a three-day event that was aimed at career-young statisticians with an interest in the application and development of time-to-event analysis and related topics. The conference provided a unique opportunity for participants to present and discuss their work with peers at a similar stage in their careers in a relaxed and friendly environment. The event included a short course on Recurrent Event Analysis by Per Kragh Andersen (University of Copenhagen), talks from keynote speakers Nadine Binder (University of Freiburg), Thomas Alexander Gerds (University of Copenhagen) and Christian Torp-Pedersen (Aalborg University), as well as contributed talks, a poster session and an informal and a formal conference dinner. Detailed information on the program can be found on the website:

We, the SAfJR 2019 organising team, greatly enjoyed the conference, which took place during beautiful weather in the heart of Copenhagen at the Royal Library. Both keynote and contributed sessions were very inspiring and of impressive quality, especially taking into account that for many speakers this was their first conference. In particular we would like to congratulate the oral presentation award winner Sven Erik Ojavee and the poster presentation award winner Natasha A. Sahr with their excellent contributions.

We are looking forward to next year’s SAfJR conference, which will take place from April 1-3 in Ulm. See their website for more information:

Paul, Mia, Kathrine and Corine

Review: The Voice of the Future 2019

By Sritika Chowdhury

The Voice of the Future (VOF), organised by the Royal Society of Biology, is a unique event that offers students and young scientists the chance to put forward their questions on scientific policies and issues to key political figures in the UK. YSS Committee member Sritika Chowdhury represented the Royal Statistical Society at this year’s event held on 12th March 2019, at the Houses of Parliament.

On a very busy day for the UK Parliament, representatives from various societies and high schools were given the opportunity to question members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee. This included, Norman Lamb, Vicky Ford, Stephen Metcalfe and Carol Monaghan (the Government Chief Scientific Adviser), Sir Patrick Vallance(Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation), Chris Skidmore, Chi Onwurah a(Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation).

The event was opened by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, who spoke enthusiastically about the importance of science in our lives and encouraged the uptake of science, mathematics and engineering subjects by young students.

The questions posed were diverse, ranging from the impact of Brexit on UK’s role in various EU funded science and policy programmes, to the actions taken by school children to safeguard their future on climate change. Vicky Ford spoke about encouraging young girls in school to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to promote more jobs, happier and better quality of lives. Chi Onwurah also emphasised the need for additional funding to ensure there are suitable pathways into STEM that do not require STEM degrees. The Select Committee emphasised the importance of collectively tackling issues such as climate change, the need to increase investment in research and development to 2.5% of GDP, and the impact of Brexit on future research.

I asked the Committee a question about the impact of big data and machine learning techniques on our daily lives and the need for appropriate regulation. Sir Patrick Vallance acknowledged the need to test, pilot and regulate such techniques through working groups set up for regulation of innovation.

Overall, it was an interesting and inspiring event that showcased the extent to which politicians value science and their commitment towards young scientists. The whole session was an eye-opening experience, and one I would highly recommend to anyone interested in science, society and policy.   

A full audio of this year’s Voice of the Future event is available on Parliament TV Live.

Review: Writing Competition Webinar

On Wednesday 10th April, the YSS and Significance Magazine hosted a webinar for this years Statistical Excellence Award for Early Career Writing Competition.

The webinar, aimed at career-young statisticians planning to enter the competition, featured presentations from:

Brian Tarran (Significance) – The why, the what and the how

Letisha Smith (New York University) – Tips for Statistical Writing

The Statistical Excellence Award for Early Career Writing Competition is open until 27 May 2019.