Radstats Issue 130 Editorial

Contents of this Issue

Following on from the discussions at the London Conference in February 2020, I asked contributors if they would agree to a student converting their power-point presentations into short texts. This has again been partly successful this year. We did manage to get two of the presentations at the 2021 Conference – those of Mike Sandys and Andrei Morgan – converted to text and these are the first two articles in this issue. The third article is an independent contribution by Bache and Burns on Student Loneliness. The final piece is a review by Simeon Scott of two statistical books. View issue 130.

Prospects for RSN 131

We have at least one article promised for RSN 131, but, clearly, we are going to need more and our administrator will put out a call for contributions to the List.

Another proposal for generating material was the relatively recent publication of the third RadStats compendium, Data in Society, which was presented by the books’ editors in 2020.  It is a landmark publication, bringing together many of the crucial issues around the production and use of quantitative information.

The contributors to Data in Society summarise many of the concerns around the accessibility and use of statistics in contemporary society. Examples include the lack of data from banking and financial organisations hides the extent of tax evasion of taxation. Government agencies are reducing the number of data series they make available for public scrutiny. The number of healthcare treatments in Britain provided by private groups is growing steadily.

The book is an eye-opener on the difficulties in holding governments and large organisations to account. Do you agree with the authors’ interpretations?

As the editors acknowledge there are data topics the volume does not cover in detail. These include the use of statistics by legal practitioners, housing and homelessness data and climate change data.

The editors of the RadStats journal have been planning to devote one journal issue to topics raised by Data in Society, and to topics not discussed in the book. Could you write an article for the journal on any of the topics above? Are there are areas of debate missing from Data in Society?

Administrative Issues

The 2022 Conference and AGM will take place on Saturday, 26 February. Radstats has a tentative booking for the day – and probably a bit extra – at the Newcastle Lit & Phil. The Conference will be either in-person OR virtual. If virtual, there would still be preparation and ongoing costs. We would ask for a donation; the suggested amount is £20, however all smaller donations will help cover the costs. Watch for more information soon! To get involved, please contact conf22@radstats.org.uk or the Troika, at troika@radstats.org.uk.

At the 2020 AGM a decision was approved to raise the subscription from £25 to £35 for those wishing to continue to receive print copies (whilst the membership subscription only – with online access – would remain at £25 and £10 for those on low incomes); otherwise they would be taken off the print distribution list.

Make sure you have updated your subscription, and please consider a one-off or regular donation.

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