Ethics from the perspective of an applied statistician
This event will be held in-person at the Department of Statistics and online. In-person places are restricted to 23 people.
Statisticians work in a wide variety of different political and cultural environments which influence their autonomy and their status, which in turn impact on the ethical frameworks they employ. The need for a UN-led fundamental set of principles governing official statistics became apparent at the end of the 1980s when countries in Central Europe began to change from centrally planned economies to market-oriented democracies. It was essential to ensure that national statistical systems in such countries would be able to produce appropriate and reliable data that adhered to certain professional and scientific standards. Alongside the UN initiative, a number of professional statistical societies adopted codes of conduct.

Do such sets of principles and ethical codes remain relevant over time? Or do changes in the way statistics are compiled and used mean that we need to review and adapt them? For example as combining data sources becomes more prevalent, record linkage, in particular, poses privacy and ethical challenges. Similarly obtaining informed consent from units for access to and linkage of their data from non-survey sources continues to be challenging. Denise will particularly draw on her earlier role as a statistician in the United Nations, working with some 200 countries, to discuss some of the ethical issues she encountered then and how these might change over time.
Date: 10 February 2022, 15:30 (Thursday, 4th week, Hilary 2022)
Venue: 24-29 St Giles', 24-29 St Giles' OX1 3LB
Venue Details: Large Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Professor Denise Lievesley (Honorary Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford)
Organising department: Department of Statistics
Organisers: Professor Christl Donnelly (University of Oxford), Beverley Lane (Department of Statistics, University of Oxford), Professor Simon Myers (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Professor Christl Donnelly (University of Oxford)
Part of: Distinguished Speaker Seminar
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Beverley Lane