Upcoming events


Wednesday 7th October - Concepts and methods in causal mediation analysis. (Jointly hosted with the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow)
Bianca DeStavola

  • Speakers: Bianca DeStavola (Professor of Biostatistics & Co-Director of the LSHTM Centre for Statistical Methodology) & Rhian Daniel (Lecturer) from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Time: 13:30-16:30.
  • Place: Ben Cruachan seminar room, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, top floor, Herald Building, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G2 3QB (map).Rhian Daniel
  • Summary: The aim of many research areas may involve the study of how the effect of a particular exposure on the outcome of interest is mediated by intermediate factors. Although the study of mediation is well established in the social and behavioural sciences, and often loosely attempted in epidemiology, developments in modern causal inference have highlighted the limitations of these 'classical' approaches and led to new definitions based on counterfactuals and novel estimation methods that deal with specific challenges such as intermediate confounding. In this workshop we will present and compare these two approaches and stress the greater rigour and generality permitted by the potential outcomes framework.

Wednesday 9th December - The North-West Passage Expedition

Past events


Monday 22nd June - The Performance of the Polls in the 2015 UK General Election
  • Speaker: John Curtice is Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and "the doyen of political polling" (Financial Times). He writes a blog providing observations and analysis on the state of public opinion in Scotland.
  • Time: 17:30-18:30, followed by drinks and nibbles.
  • Place: Room LT908, Livingstone Tower, University of Strathclyde, G1 1XH (map).
  • Summary: The 2015 election looks as though it will join the 1970 and 1992 contests as elections when the polls were perceived to have got it ‘wrong’.  Although on average the polls were no more than a percentage point adrift in their estimates of support for the smaller parties, they suggested that Labour and the Conservatives were in a dead heat when, in practice, the Conservatives proved to be nearly seven points ahead. Only when the results of the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll were released did the first intimation come that in fact the Conservatives were well head. In this talk Prof. Curtice will describe how the polls were conducted and assess some of the possible reasons why they overestimated Labour and underestimated Conservative support.
  • Prof. Curtice is giving this talk in a personal capacity, and not in his role as President of the British Polling Council.
  • Join the discussion and post questions for Prof. Curtice on twitter via the hashtag #RSSGlaPolls.

Thursday 23rd April
- RSS Glasgow/
ORGS/YSS joint event: Visualising data: a statistician's journey. [link to slides]

*** NB this event can be attended online ***
  • Meeting report
  • Speaker: Robert Grant, senior lecturer in health and social care statistics, Kingston University and St George's (Medical School), University of London.
  • Time: 17:00-18:00, followed by drinks and nibbles.
  • Place:
    • Attend in person at room LT908, Livingstone Tower, University of Strathclyde, G1 1XH (map), or...
    • Join the Webinar. Update: follow the event on twitter and join the post-seminar questions using the hashtag #gladataviz.
  • Summary: The last few years have seen an explosion of innovative data visualisations, particularly those that are interactive and delivered online. These have the potential to make our work have much greater impact but are a mystery to most statisticians. I will describe how I learned about these: how to design them and how to make them. I will reflect on the differences between the worlds of data and design, and present some current experiments in representing uncertainty in more intuitive ways for a lay audience.

Animated graph by Robert Grant

Thursday 26th February: Health Freaks on Trial

  • Place: Room 203, Maths Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QW (map).
  • Summary: In 2013, Channel 4 broadcast Health Freaks”, a series of six programmes on some
    rather bizarre home remedies.  Martin was advisor and statistical analyst for four clinical trials in this series.  He will talk about how this came about, describe each of the trials, their sometimes surprising results and how they were presented, and his seconds of televisual fame.


  • Thursday 11th December - RSS Glasgow/ORGS joint event: A statistical excursion in the isochronic hills
    • Meeting report
    • Speaker: Phil Scarf, University of Salford
      The OR group of Scotland
    • Time: 17:00-18:00 ***Note later time than originally advertised*** Preceded briefly by RSS Glasgow Group AGM, and followed by drinks reception and nibbles.
    • Place: Room LT908, Livingstone Tower, University of Strathclyde, G1 1XH (map).
    • Summary: The adventure racer, when competing in mountain navigation events, is often faced with an over-or-around route choice. Is it quicker to go over or around a hill when trying to get from a point A, on one side, to a point B, on the other? Route choice aesthetics are of no interest. The competitor wishes to get from A to B as efficiently as possible. Naismith's rule can be used i
      Hills, real and isochronic
      n these circumstances. This rule relates climb to distance, and implies that, in terms of time taken, 1 unit of distance vertically is equivalent to N units of distance
      horizontally. Naismith in his original paper in 1892 in the Scottish Mountaineering Club journal implied that N=7.92. Now, if a route (from A to B) comprises a horizontal distance component of x units and a
      vertical distance component of y units, then x+Ny  is the equivalent distance of the route. Given a choice between routes, the competitor should then ceteris paribus choose that route with minimum equivalent distance. This talk will consider a number of questions in this context:
      • What are the origins of Naismith's rule?
      • What is the connection between the rule, the treadmill crane at Harwich, and the Scottish Mathematician MacLaurin?
      • What is the fastest mile ever run?
      • Can N be estimated from data?
      • Does N vary with age, that is, do veteran runners find ascent relatively more difficult, and therefore should they be more inclined to go around?
      • If the over and around routes between points on opposites sides of a simply shaped hill are equivalent, is there a quicker route in between?
      • What is the shape of an isochronic hill?
      • Is the rule applicable to cycling?

  • Thursday 13th November: Monitoring school performance: A multilevel value-added modelling alternative to England’s ‘expected progress’ measure
    • Meeting Report
    • Speaker: George Leckie, Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol
    • Summary: Since 1992, the UK Government has published so-called ‘school league tables’ summarizing the average educational attainment and progress made by pupils in each state-funded secondary school in England. In 2011 the Government made ‘expected progress’ their new headline measure of school progress. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the data underlying the Government’s 2013 tables, in order to statistically critique expected progress and contrast it with the
      multilevel ‘value-added’ modelling approach.
    • Time: 5.30-6.30 pm, followed by drinks and nibbles.
    • Place: Ben Cruachan seminar room, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, top floor, Herald Building, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G2 3QB (map).

  • Friday 12th September: Quantifying the impact of air pollution on health. A workshop aiming to  bring together academics, policymakers and other interested parties to discuss this important public health issue.
    • Speakers, timetable, directions and other information available at Slides available [link
    • Time: 12:45-16:45
    • Place: ***New venue due to high demand*** Hugh Fraser Seminar Room 2, Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ (C8 on campus map).

  • Tuesday 17th June: The Power of Administrative Data
    • Meeting report
    • Speaker: Stephen Pavis
    • Summary: Scotland has some of the best administrative data in the world (e.g. health, social care, housing, education and criminal justice). However, these data are not being fully exploited: to ensure our social policies are designed to respond to multiple disadvantage; our public services are as efficient as possible; and that these data are mobilised to support economic growth.  This lecture will explore some of the reasons for the under-utilisation of administrative data and chart some of the new initiatives which aim to release these data's potential.
    • Time: 17.30-18:30, followed by drinks and nibbles
    • Place: Room 203, Maths Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QW (map).

  • Monday 12th May: Glasgow 2014: Legacy and the Host Community
    • Speakers: Ade Kearns and Julie Clark of the University of Glasgow.

    • Summary: The GoWell East study aims to consider the effects that regeneration and the Commonwealth Games 2014 might have upon the quality of life and health and wellbeing of residents living in the six communities nearest to the main Games sites in the East End of Glasgow.  This talk will describe the approach we are using to do this, within the three broad legacy domains of economic impact, sports participation and physicalNew GoWell Logo 300dpi activity, and sustainability.  Broadly, the methods comprise: a longitudinal survey of an adult resident cohort; a longitudinal survey of a pupil cohort; stakeholder interviews and workshop; qualitative interviews with residents; and an ecological study of secondary data on the physical, economic and social environments.  At present, we are conducting a prospective assessment of the potential for intervention impacts within and upon the study area, and the framework used for this will be explained.
    • Time: 15.00-16.00, followed by drinks and nibbles.
    • Place: Room 203, Maths Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QW (map).

  • Friday 31 January - Seminar: Statistics making an impact
    • Read the article "Statistics making an Impact"
    • Summary: John Pullinger, President of the Royal Statistical Society will give a reprise of his presidential lecture.  He will explore how the role of statistics in society has changed with changes in the politics of decision-making.  He will outline the Royal Statistical Society strategy for the next 4 years and consider how individual members of the RSS can play a part.
    • Time: 15.00-16.00, followed by wine reception.This event is free and open to all. Non-members welcome.
    • Place: Room LT908, Livingstone Tower, University of Strathclyde, G1 1XH (map)


  • Tuesday 17 December 2013 - Seminar: Public Engagement: Some Perspectives from Statistics and Public Health. Followed by RSS Glasgow Group AGM.
    • Speakers:
    • Summary: Engaging the public with our research and work is challenging. We have created 3 activities and trialled them with members of the public (aged 7-70) at the Glasgow Science Centre. We will discuss how we developed these activities (Inequalities in Mortality Mountain Plot Jigsaw; Design a Healthy Lifestyle app; Health in the City Game) and then you will have the opportunity to try the activities.
    • Time:
      • AGM: 17:15–17:20
      • Seminar: 17:20-18:15
    • Place: Room LT908, Livingstone Tower, University of Strathclyde (corner of Richmond St & North Portland St; nearest subway Buchanan Street; map)
    • Followed by wine, nibbles and mince pies. Event is free and open to all, in particular non-members.

            This event is part of the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013).

  • 14 October 2013 - Meeting: Expert Judgement. Joint meeting hosted by the Glasgow Local Group of the Royal Statistical Society and the Operational Research Group of Scotland at the University of Strathclyde.

        This event is part of the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013).

  • 25 June 2013 - RSS/GSSG Seminar: White Flight & Social Segregation. This seminar is jointly funded by the Royal Statistical Society Glasgow Local Group, AQMEN/Glasgow Social Statistics Group and the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow.

    • Speakers:

      • 14.00: Dr Richard Harris (University of Bristol). Motion Charts, White Flight and Ethnic Cliffs? Ethno-demographic change in the 2011 Census. Discussant: Prof Gwilym Pryce

      • 15.15: Prof Gwilym Pryce (University of Glasgow). Future Directions in Segregation Research: An Overview of a Major New Research Programme. Discussant: Dr Richard Harris

    • Time: 14:00-16:00 on Tuesday 25 June 2013.

    • Place: Room 916, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow

    • Time: 15:00-16:30 on Thursday 23 May 2013

    • Place: Room 203, Maths Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QW (map).

Paul Johnson,
Mar 14, 2014, 3:57 PM