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Activity Number: 447
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 : 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Sponsor: ASA
Abstract - #310415
Title: The International Year of Statistics: A Celebration and a Call to Action
Author(s): Marie Davidian*+
Companies: North Carolina State University

We are in the midst of the International Year of Statistics, a year long, worldwide celebration and recognition of the contributions of our discipline. Participating organizations worldwide are spearheading seminars, media outreach, educational activities, and other promotional efforts to raise awareness of the impact of statistics on every aspect of science and society. Our profession traditionally has not commanded a high degree of visibility among the public, policy makers, and the media, and Statistics 2013, as this campaign is known, is doing much to highlight its importance. Our field has also benefited tremendously from exposure in the media following the 2012 presidential election and other high-profile examples of the value of data-driven analysis and decision-making. Despite this heightened attention, our profession is at a critical juncture. The age of Big Data is here, and we have much to contribute, particularly in bringing our unique understanding of uncertainty and inference and the threats of bias, confounding, missing data, and false discovery to the table. However, other disciplines are often mentioned instead of ours as those leading innovation in exploiting the data deluge. More generally, our profession continues to lack visibility in the context of data big or small among some of our fellow scientists, and scientific and popular media still sometimes confuse us with mathematicians or computer scientists. I will discuss this conundrum, initiatives the ASA is undertaking to address it, and how all of us can play a transformative role in promoting our discipline during the rest of Statistics2013 and beyond.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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