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Importance of statistical research highlighted by research council head

Published: 12 January 2007

Statistical methods, both new and established, are essential for the future development of the Social Sciences in the UK, the Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) will argue at a lecture at the University of Southampton next month.

Professor Ian Diamond, who is also Chair of the Executive Group of Research Councils UK, will outline the role of the ESRC and its vision for the future, including its strategic plan, in his lecture entitled The Social Sciences and Statistics on 7 February.

He will also emphasise the nature of the population of graduates needed to take forward the ESRC's vision and, in particular, why statistical methods are needed and why it is important that people understand them.

Professor Diamond joined the ESRC in January 2003 from the University of Southampton where he was deputy vice-chancellor. He worked at Southampton from 1980 as lecturer, senior lecturer and professor.

As a social statistician, his work has crossed many disciplinary boundaries, most notably working in the area of population but also in health, both in the developed and less developed world, in environmental noise and with local authorities. He has collaborated with a number of Government departments, including the Office for National Statistics, the Department for International Development, the Department of Transport and the Department for Work and Pensions. He worked on both the 1991 and 2001 censuses, focusing on areas such as migration.

The lecture is hosted by the University's Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) and will take place on Wednesday 7 February 2007 at 3.30pm in Room 4A, Bldg 54 at the Highfield campus.

Notes for editors

  1. The Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, known as S3RI, was set up by the University in August 2003 in order to support and co-ordinate the research activities of statisticians and demographers from the Schools of Social Science, Mathematics and Medicine. It involves more than 40 academic, research and support staff and makes up one of the largest groups of statisticians in UK universities.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. It is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, offering first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering. The University has around 20,000 students and over 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £310 million.

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