Fun Facts from the ASA’s History
In 1984, the ASA Archives and Historical Materials Committee was formed and chaired by Churchill Eisenhart. Other members were H. A. David, Margo Anderson, and Meyer Fishbein, with Stanley Yates of the Iowa State University Library as an ex officio member and Fred C. Leone as a consultant.
The first section established by the ASA was the Biometrics Section, which focused on the application of statistics within the biological sciences. The second section established was the Section on Statistical Education (now the Section on Statistics and Data Science Education), with the goal to improve academic statistical education.
Statistician Elizabeth L. Scott produced empirical evidence that women weren’t being allowed to use the world’s biggest telescopes in their own names, and then used the big telescopes story and statistical analyses of gender data to raise consciousness and promote equal opportunities for women in statistics, science, and academe. This year, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, of which the ASA is a part, established the Elizabeth L. Scott Lecture. The first lecture will be given at the Joint Statistical Meetings in 2020.
The first ASA annual meeting outside Boston took place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1908.