David Spiegelhalter

Sir David John Spiegelhalter, OBE FRS (born 16 August 1953), is a British statistician and Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge[4] and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.[2][5][6][7] Spiegelhalter is an ISI highly cited researcher.

David Spiegelhalter
Cmglee David Spiegelhalter 2013 Cambridge Science Festival
David Spiegelhalter presenting at the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival
Born
David John Spiegelhalter

16 August 1953 (age 65)[1]
ResidenceCambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
NationalityBritish
Alma mater
Awards
Scientific career
Fields
Institutions
ThesisAdaptive inference using finite mixture models (1978)
Doctoral advisorAdrian Smith[3]
Websitewww.statslab.cam.ac.uk/Dept/People/Spiegelhalter/davids.html

Education

Spiegelhalter attended Barnstaple Grammar School from 1963 to 1970 then studied at the University of Oxford (Bachelor of Arts 1974) and University College London. He gained his Master of Science 1975 and Doctor of Philosophy 1978, supervised by Adrian Smith.[3][8][9]

Career

Spiegelhalter was research assistant in Brunel University in 1976 and then visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, 1977–78. After his PhD, he was a research assistant for the Royal College of Physicians; he was based at the University of Nottingham, where his PhD supervisor, Adrian Smith, had been appointed a professor.

From 1981 he was at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit at Cambridge. He has been an honorary lecturer at the University of Hong Kong since 1991. He has also been a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and the World Anti-Doping Agency. He played a leading role in the public inquiries into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and the murders by Harold Shipman.[10]

Between 2007 and 2012 he divided his work[11] between the Cambridge Statistical Laboratory (three-fifths) and the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit (two-fifths).[12] He left the MRC in March 2012[13] and now works full-time at the Statistical Laboratory as the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk.

David crop
David Spiegelhalter playing with Arco Iris Samba band, July 2009

In 2012, Spiegelhalter hosted the BBC Four documentary Tails You Win: The Science of Chance which described the application of probability in everyday life.[14] He also presented a 2013 Cambridge Science Festival talk, How to Spot a Shabby Statistic at the Babbage Lecture Theatre in Cambridge.[7][15]

He has been elected as President of the Royal Statistical Society, and took up the position on 1 January 2017.

Research

Spiegelhalter's research interests are in statistics[2][16][17] including

  • Bayesian approach to clinical trials, expert systems and complex modelling and epidemiology.[18]
  • Graphical models of conditional independence. He wrote several papers in the 1980s that showed how probability could be incorporated into expert systems, a problem that seemed intractable at the time. Spiegelhalter showed that while frequentist probability did not lend itself to expert systems, Bayesian probability most certainly did.[19]
  • Statistical software.[20] In the 1990s Spiegelhalter led the Medical Research Council team that developed WinBUGS ("Bayesian analysis Using Gibbs Sampling"), a statistical-modelling system allowing hierarchical prior distributions. WinBUGS and its successor OpenBUGS specifies graphical models using acyclic directed graphs whose nodes are random variables, which are updated using Gibbs sampling (an updating method for Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation).[21] Earlier Bayesian software had required that the probability distribution for the observed data be an exponential family and that the prior be its conjugate distribution. Allowing flexible choices of prior distributions simplified hierarchical modelling and helped to promote multilevel models, which became widely used in epidemiology and education.
  • General issues in clinical trials,[22] including cluster randomisation, meta-analysis and ethical monitoring.
  • Monitoring and comparing clinical and public-health outcomes and their associated publication as performance indicators.
  • Public understanding of risk,[23][24] including promoting concepts such as the micromort (a one in a million chance of death) and microlife (a 30-minute reduction of life expectancy). Media reporting of statistics,[25] risk and probability and the wider conception of uncertainty as going beyond what is measured to model uncertainty, the unknown and the unmeasurable.

Honours

Spiegelhalter was knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to statistics.[29][30]

Media appearances

  • Panorama - Why Are Gambling Machines Addictive? (12 September 2016)
  • Climate Change by Numbers (2 March 2015)
  • Horizon - Should I Eat Meat? The Big Health Dilemma (18 August 2014)
  • Horizon - What is One Degree? (10 January 2011) - Interviewed by Ben Miller
  • Horizon - To Infinity and Beyond (10 February 2010)
  • Tails You Win: The Science of Chance (18 October 2012)
  • The Joy of Stats (7 December 2010)

References

  1. ^ SPIEGELHALTER, Prof. David John. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. closed access (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c David Spiegelhalter publications indexed by Google Scholar
  3. ^ a b David Spiegelhalter at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ "David Spiegelhalter's Personal Home Page". Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Churchill College: Fellows: List of current Fellows". Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  6. ^ David Spiegelhalter's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b David Spiegelhalter on IMDb
  8. ^ Spiegelhalter, David (1978). Adaptive inference using finite mixture models (PhD thesis). University College London.
  9. ^ Keeble, Andy (18 June 2014). "Barnstaple old boy knighted in Queen's Birthday honours". North Devon Gazette.
  10. ^ "Programme transcript". BBC News. 2 April 2006.
  11. ^ Spiegelhalter, David (October 2009). "Don's Diary" (PDF). CAM. Cambridge University Alumni Association. p. 3.
  12. ^ "MRC Biostatistics Unit: People". Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ BBC Four – Tails You Win: The Science of Chance
  15. ^ What’s On » Cambridge Science Festival – How to spot a shabby statistic
  16. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic
  17. ^ David J. Spiegelhalter at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  18. ^ Spiegelhalter, D. J.; Best, N. G.; Carlin, B. P.; Linde, A. V. D. (2002). "Bayesian Measures of Model Complexity and Fit". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 64 (4): 583–639. doi:10.1111/1467-9868.00353.
  19. ^ Lauritzen, S. L.; Spiegelhalter, D. J. (1988). "Local Computations with Probabilities on Graphical Structures and Their Application to Expert Systems". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 50 (2): 157–224. JSTOR 2345762.
  20. ^ Gilks, W. R.; Richardson, S.; Spiegelhalter, D. J. (1996). Markov Chain Monte Carlo in Practice. Chapman & Hall. ISBN 978-0-412-05551-5.
  21. ^ Spiegelhalter, David; Thomas, Andrew; Best, Nicky; Lunn, Dave (January 2003), WinBUGS User Manual (Version 1.4 ed.), Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, UK: MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, PDF document, archived from the original on 3 March 2012, retrieved 27 February 2012
  22. ^ Neuenschwander, B.; Capkun-Niggli, G.; Branson, M.; Spiegelhalter, D. J. (2010). "Summarizing historical information on controls in clinical trials". Clinical Trials. 7 (1): 5–18. doi:10.1177/1740774509356002. PMID 20156954.
  23. ^ Spiegelhalter, D.; Pearson, M.; Short, I. (2011). "Visualizing Uncertainty About the Future". Science. 333 (6048): 1393–1400. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.1029.4615. doi:10.1126/science.1191181. PMID 21903802.
  24. ^ "David Spiegelhalter's blog | Understanding Uncertainty". Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  25. ^ Riesch, H.; Spiegelhalter, D. J. (2011). "'Careless pork costs lives': Risk stories from science to press release to media". Health, Risk & Society. 13: 47–64. doi:10.1080/13698575.2010.540645.
  26. ^ Outstanding Statistical Application Award, ASA, retrieved 31 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Weldon Memorial Prize and Medal – International Statistical Institute". Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  28. ^ "David Spiegelhalter's Personal Home Page". www.statslab.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  29. ^ "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b2.
  30. ^ Gallagher, James (14 June 2014). "Prof Colin Blakemore: Medical research defender knighted". BBC News.

External links

David Firth (statistician)

David Firth (born c. 1958) is a British statistician specialising in social-science and biostatistical applications. He was awarded the Guy Medal in Silver in 2012.

Firth obtained his Ph.D. from the University of London in 1987 under the supervision of David Roxbee Cox.Firth developed quasi-variance estimation, a statistical approach to overcome the reference category problem when estimating the effects of a categorical explanatory variable within a statistical model.

Frank Yates

Frank Yates FRS (12 May 1902 – 17 June 1994) was one of the pioneers of 20th century statistics.

Guy Medal

The Guy Medals are awarded by the Royal Statistical Society in three categories; Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Silver and Bronze medals are awarded annually. The Gold Medal was awarded every three years between 1987 and 2011, but is awarded biennially as of 2019. They are named after William Guy.

The Guy Medal in Gold is awarded to fellows or others who are judged to have merited a signal mark of distinction by reason of their innovative contributions to the theory or application of statistics.

The Guy Medal in Silver is awarded to any fellow or, in exceptional cases, to two or more fellows in respect of a paper/papers of special merit communicated to the Society at its ordinary meetings, or in respect of a paper/papers published in any of the journals of the Society. General contributions to statistics may also be taken into account.

The Guy Medal in Bronze is awarded to fellows, or to non-fellows who are members of a section or a local group, in respect of a paper or papers read to a section or local group or at any conference run by the Society, its sections or local groups, or published in any of the Society's journals. Preference will be given to people under the age of 35. Exceptionally two or more authors of a paper/papers may be considered for the award provided they are members of sections or local groups.

Henry William Macrosty

Henry William Macrosty (1865 – 19 January 1941) was President of the Royal Statistical Society between 1940–41.Macrosty was active in the Fabian Society for many years, writing a proposed bill creating an eight-hour working day in 1893, "The Revival of Agriculture: a proposed policy for Great Britain" in 1905, and several other tracts for the society. From 1895 until 1906, he served on the society's executive.

Herbert Edward Soper

Herbert Edward Soper (1865 – 1930) was an eminent British statistician, who worked with Karl Pearson. He was awarded the Guy Silver Medal of the Royal Statistical Society in 1930. He had an obituary in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.

Iain M. Johnstone

Iain Murray Johnstone (born 1956) is an Australian born statistician who is the Marjorie Mhoon Fair Professor in Quantitative Science in the Department of Statistics at Stanford University.

Jonathan Tawn

Jonathan Tawn is Professor of Statistics at Lancaster University. He is one of the leading researchers in Extreme value theory, looking into both methods and applications in areas such as oceanography, hydrology, and climatology.

List of presidents of the Royal Statistical Society

The President of the Royal Statistical Society is the head of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), elected biennially by the Fellows of the Society. (The time-period between elections has varied in the past, and in fact elections only rarely occur.).

The President oversees the running of the Society and chairs its council meetings. In recent years, almost all presidents have been nominated following many years' service to the Society, although some have been nominated to mark their eminence in society generally, such as Harold Wilson.

There has only been one contested election in the Society's history; in 1977, many fellows objected to the nomination by the Council of Campbell Adamson because he was not a statistician, was said to have made derogatory comments about statisticians, and principally because in the previous year he had been defeated in an election to the Council of the Society, and fellows felt that he was being foisted upon the Society by the current 'establishment' in an essentially undemocratic fashion. Henry Wynn was nominated by several fellows (including Adrian Smith, himself later president, and Philip Dawid) and won the election.

In 2010, Bernard Silverman stepped down very early in his presidential term. This was due to being appointed as chief scientific advisor to the home office which presented a conflict of interest as the society sometimes issues expert statements on statistical matters in public life.

Despite women being elected fellows from 1858, only three have been president of the society. The current president is Sir David Spiegelhalter. Deborah Ashby will take over from January 2019

Matthew Stephens (statistician)

Matthew Stephens (born 1970) is a Bayesian statistician and professor in the departments of Human Genetics and Statistics at the University of Chicago. He is known for the Li and Stephens model as an efficient coalescent.

Microlife

A microlife is a unit of risk representing half an hour change of life expectancy.Introduced by David Spiegelhalter and Alejandro Leiva, microlives are intended as a simple way of communicating the impact of a lifestyle or environmental risk factor, based on the associated daily proportional effect on expected length of life. Similar to the micromort (one in a million probability of death) the microlife is intended for "rough but fair comparisons between the sizes of chronic risks". This is to avoid the biasing effects of describing risks in relative hazard ratios, converting them into somewhat tangible units. Similarly they bring long-term future risks into the here-and-now as a gain or loss of time.

"A daily loss or gain of 30 minutes can be termed a microlife, because 1 000 000 half hours (57 years) roughly corresponds to a lifetime of adult exposure."The microlife exploits that for small hazard ratios the change in life expectancy is roughly linear. They are by necessity rough estimates, based on averages over population and lifetime. Effects of individual variability, short-term or changing habits, and causal factors are not taken into account.

Paul Fearnhead

Paul Fearnhead is Professor of Statistics at Lancaster University. He is one a researcher in computational statistics, in particular Sequential Monte Carlo methods. His interests include sampling theory and genetics – he has published several papers working on the epidemiology of campylobacter by looking at recombination events in a large sample of genomes. Since January 2018 he has been the editor of Biometrika.

Peter Diggle

Peter Diggle' is a statistician. He was president of the Royal Statistical Society from 2014 until 2016, starting his term early on the resignation of John Pullinger who was appointed National Statistician. He holds concurrent appointments with the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University, and the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool. In 1997 he was awarded the Guy medal in Silver by the Royal Statistical Society. From 2004-2008 he was an EPSRC Senior Research Fellow. He is one of the founding co-editors of the journal Biostatistics.Previously, he has held positions at Newcastle University, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia. He also holds honorary appointments with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Yale.

Richard Samworth

Richard John Samworth (born May 1978) is the Professor of Statistical Science and the Director of the Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and a Teaching Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. He was educated at St John's College, Cambridge. His main research interests are in nonparametric and high-dimensional statistics. Particular topics include shape-constrained density estimation and other nonparametric function estimation problems, nonparametric classification, clustering and regression, the bootstrap and high-dimensional variable selection problems.

Steffen Lauritzen

Steffen Lauritzen FRS (born 22 April 1947) is former Head of the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and currently Professor of Statistics at the University of Copenhagen. He is a leading proponent of mathematical statistics and graphical models.He studied statistics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, completing the degree of Candidatus statisticae (M.Sc. level) in 1972 and Licentiatus statisticae (PhD level) in 1975. He was appointed there as Lecturer of Statistics and remained until 1981. He continued as Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Aalborg University, Denmark, from 1981 to 2004. From 2004-2014 he was Professor of Statistics at the University of Oxford and, since 2014, he is Professor of Statistics at the University of Copenhagen.

He was elected a member of the International Statistical Institute in 1984, and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011.Lauritzen was awarded the 1996 Guy Medal in Silver by the Royal Statistical Society. He served, among others, as Editor-in-Chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Statistics from 1998 to 2000.

His book Probabilistic Networks and Expert Systems (1999, Springer-Verlag), written jointly with Robert G. Cowell, Philip Dawid, and David Spiegelhalter, received the 2001 DeGroot Prize from the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.

Sylvia Richardson

Sylvia Richardson is a French Bayesian statistician.

T. H. C. Stevenson

Thomas Henry Craig Stevenson CBE (1870 – 12 September 1932) was an Irish statistician.

He was born in Strabane, County Tyrone and educated at University College, London, before receiving his MB at the University of London. He set up in practice and read for an MD in State Medicine, after which he was offered a post in the Brighton Public Health Department. After posts in public health elsewhere he became the School Medical Officer of Somerset County Council. In 1909 he was appointed Superintendent of Statistics in the General Register Office.He was awarded the Guy Medal in Gold by the Royal Statistical Society in 1920 and the Edward Jenner Medal of the Royal Society of Medicine. He was appointed a CBE in 1919.

Thomas A. Welton

Thomas Abercrombie Welton FSS (1835 – 16 January 1918) was an English statistician and chartered accountant. He received a Guy Medal in Silver from the Royal Statistical Society in 1901.

Welton was born in Hackney, the son of Nicholas and Harriet Welton. He was baptised at St John's Church in Hackney on 20 February 1835.Welton was vice president of the Inspection Committee of Trustee Savings Bank for 25 years before his death in 1918, at which point his friend Sir Edward Brabrook eulogised him in The Times, writing that "his wisdom and sympathetic insight have been of the highest value to his colleagues and to the excellent institution with which that committee is concerned."

Valerie Isham

Valerie Susan Isham (born 1947) is a British applied probabilist and President of the Royal Statistical Society 2011–12.

Isham's research interests in include point processes, spatial processes, spatio-temporal processes and population processes. She went to Imperial College London (B.Sc., Ph.D.) where she was a student of a prominent statistician David Cox. She has been a professor of probability and statistics at University College London since 1992. She was the president of the Royal Statistical Society for 2011–2012. She was awarded its Guy Medal in Bronze in 1990.

William Gemmell Cochran

William Gemmell Cochran (15 July 1909 – 29 March 1980) was a prominent statistician. He was born in Scotland but spent most of his life in the United States.

Cochran studied mathematics at the University of Glasgow and the University of Cambridge. He worked at Rothamsted Experimental Station from 1934 to 1939, when he moved to the United States. There he helped establish several departments of statistics. His longest spell in any one university was at Harvard, which he joined in 1957 and from which he retired in 1976.

Fellows
Foreign
Honorary

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.