Public Voice

The public voices of statisticians are critical for societal advancement and improvement. The International Statistical Institute seeks to present unbiased perspectives from statisticians around the world. It promotes debates, statistical perspectives, and discussions on current issues.



One of the strategic goals for the ISI is to increase the visibility and influence of statisticians in society by amplifying the voices of our profession and promoting the value of statistics to the wider community. We believe that by highlighting the important contributions that statisticians make to society, we can increase public understanding of the field and inspire future generations to pursue careers in statistics.

Committee on the Public Voice of Statistics

To reach and to work actively towards these objectives, the ISI Council has approved the establishment of a The ISI Public Voice Committee dedicated to implementing strategies in this area. This committee will focus on key areas that have been identified as crucial for achieving the goal of enhancing the public voice of statistics. The ISI Public Voice Committee will be empowered by the ISI Public Voice Consortium. 

About the ISI Public Voice Consortium

This ISI Public Voice Consortium is a dynamic group of statisticians that is actively involved in contributing to projects such as the Wikipedia Statisticians Articles, annual Blogs (e.g. "Statisticians React to the News"), video and social media content, and many more projects. The consortium is dedicated to identifying and supporting initiatives that help to achieve the Public Voice goals, and we invite you to join us in this effort.

The Consortium is part of the ISI Public Voice Committee.

Distinguished Professor Mengersen is one of the driving forces behind The ISI Public Voice.

Kerrie Mengersen

Join the ISI Public Voice Consortium?

As a member of the Public Voice Consortium, we offer the opportunity to nominate a prominent statistician, and provide resources and support for writing Wikipedia articles. We invite you to contribute to the blog on an annual basis. We welcome contributions from statisticians at all career stages and from diverse backgrounds. We offer the opportunity for you to send us videos, post and other content for our social media channels.

If you are interested in contributing to the Wikipedia Statisticians Articles and Blogs, please reach out via email at: [email protected] or sign up via the webform.

The Key Areas

1. Voice in Public

Traditionally, science communication and public education have been beneficial in providing outreach lectures to groups of students or members of the general public. However, to reach a wider audience, we need to focus on engaging the providers of information. One issue we need to work on worldwide is to help journalists understand statistics.

The ISI Public Voice Committee will work with the to develop half- and full-day courses in statistical thinking for journalists and other communicators. 

The ISI Public Voice Consortium will be involved in helping to effectively connect statistical ideas to a general audience, such as through podcasts, social media posts and articles, blogs, press releases, Wikipedia pages, and YouTube channels.

2. Voice in the Scientific Community

Statisticians have not been well represented in international scientific organisations. For example, there has been no statistical representation in the International Science Council (ISC), the primary international body of scientific organisations. This council has a significant influence on international action on issues of major scientific and public importance. To give the statistical community a stronger voice in this context, the ISI is now an affiliate member of the International Science Council.

More about the International Science Council.

3. Voice in Education

Many primary and secondary students have a better understanding of what a statistician does thanks to the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP). Initiated by the ISI association IASE, ISLP contributes to promoting statistical literacy across the world, among both young and adults, in all walks of life. It provides an online repository of international resources and news in Statistical Literacy, international activities to promote the resources and the individuals and institutions behind them, and outreach activities to increase awareness.

The International Data Science in Schools Project (IDSSP), supported by the ISI and other international statistics and data science organisations, is increasing the flow of data-science-capable specialists into the workforce.

Both projects aim to enhance the capacity of all people to learn from data and make informed decisions in uncertain situations, inspiring numerous students to pursue further study of data science.

The ISI Public Voice is committed to doing more of these types of projects.

4. Promoting best practices

The ISI supports the move towards open data, where possible, and towards reproducible research. We work with the ISI Publications committee to ensure the all journals of the Institute and its Associations need the highest standards of data availability and reproducible research.

Recently there has been a lot of debate regarding the use and misuse of statistics in different scientific areas. In particular, the ubiquitous (and often incorrect) use of P-values has been subject to much discussion. We are developing a web page with links to different voices in this debate.