How not to lose 16,000 COVID-19 test results: a data scientist’s view

A critical piece of the UK Test and Trace infrastructure failed hard this week. All contacts of almost 16,000 COVID-19 infected people were allowed to circulate unknowingly for an entire seven days in the community. That’s about 50,000 people. I’m not going to complain about Public Health England (PHE) using excel to merge the testContinue reading “How not to lose 16,000 COVID-19 test results: a data scientist’s view”

Ethics Happy Hours

Announcing our new Data Science Section Initiative: Share and discuss ethical challenges encountered in your professional life during Ethics Happy Hours Ethical questions are ubiquitous in pursuing real-world data science projects. During the Covid-19 crisis, controversies around the design of contact tracing apps or the moderation of GCSE and A-level results have recently served asContinue reading “Ethics Happy Hours”

September Newsletter

Hi everyone- Another month flies by… hard to believe summer is technically over although the coldest August UK bank holiday on record is one way to drive home the point! Following is the September edition of our Royal Statistical Society Data Science Section newsletter. Hopefully some interesting topics and titbits to feed your data scienceContinue reading “September Newsletter”

Data Science Needs Technical Managers

We believe a lack of data scientists in leadership roles is a major reason why organisations don’t get value from data science. Our recent survey has shown that data scientists with a manager from a data science background are more likely to feel they’re delivering value for an organisation. Last year we conducted a surveyContinue reading “Data Science Needs Technical Managers”

The effectiveness of cloth masks has been misrepresented by #Masks4All

I recently advised caution about COVID-19 research performed by people without a background in infectious diseases. Some people hated that advice. I’m going to show an example of why it matters. In recent weeks, entrepreneur Jeremy Howard has led the #Masks4All campaign to make it mandatory to wear cotton face masks in public. Howard claimsContinue reading “The effectiveness of cloth masks has been misrepresented by #Masks4All”

All models are wrong, but some are completely wrong

At this critical time in the modern history of the human race, mathematical models have been pushed into the foreground. Epidemic forecasting informs policy and even individual decision-making. Sadly, scientists and journalists have completely failed to communicate how these models work. Last week the Financial Times published the headline ‘Coronavirus may have infected half ofContinue reading “All models are wrong, but some are completely wrong”

Our First Newsletter (of many…)

We thought it could be useful (and fun) to pick the collective brains of our Data Science Section committee members (as well as those of our impressive array of subscribers and followers) and put together a monthly newsletter. This will undoubtedly be biased but will hopefully surface materials that we collectively feel is interesting andContinue reading “Our First Newsletter (of many…)”

The do’s and don’ts of starting a data science team

Last week, the Prime Minister’s chief strategic adviser – Dominic Cummings – wrote a blog which attracted a huge amount of media attention. He called for a radical new approach to civil service recruitment – suggesting that data scientists (among others) should play increasingly important roles. But while data scientists were top of Cummings’ list, it was hisContinue reading “The do’s and don’ts of starting a data science team”

“We are not unicorns”​

On Thursday May 16th, The Royal Statistical Society’s Data Science Section hosted our inaugural Industrial Strength Data Science event of the year at the RSS headquarters in central London. The event was titled “We are not unicorns” and consisted of a panel discussion on a range of topics centered around the current state of dataContinue reading ““We are not unicorns”​”