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ISI President's Message January 2010
It is my pleasure to wish all of you a splendid 2011. Apart from good health and friendship from all the people who care about you, may 2011 offer you a bit of extra time and energy to spend on a project that you have been forced to postpone “until later”.
It may sound a bit selfish, but the members of the Executive Committee and the Staff at the Permanent Office wish themselves a lot of success in 2011. As you probably noticed, we all have been working hard to help the ISI to fulfil its role as the prime international institute for statistics. Below I will single out two activities for which we need your attention right now. We also got involved in many other initiatives: Involvement of young statisticians within the ISI, a revamp of the ISI website, Declaration of Professional Ethics, World Statistics Day, new initiatives in Latin America, in the Arab countries, in Africa, etc.
Allow me to ask your special attention for two important issues. One is the forthcoming World Statistics Congress (WSC) in Dublin, 21-26 August. We hope that many among you will take part in this meeting, even more that you will enjoy the inclusion of a number of traditional and new features. Let me mention: The organization of a Water Theme Day: Statistical Aspects in which all ISI Sections have been collaborating, the activities for the young statisticians (among them a Satellite Meeting immediately preceding the WSC), the scientific programme with its widespread plethora of statistical topics, the excellent local arrangements, a carefully prepared slate of Short Courses, a vast list of administrative and social meetings, some for the first time. For more information, please go to the website http://www.isi2011.ie/content/ to find out more. In any case, you are all very welcome to enjoy this important gathering!
The other initiative for which we need your attention is one with a long history. In Durban, we promised to the membership that one of the main tasks for the then incoming ISI Governance was to prepare a revision of the ISI Statutes and By-Laws. From our point of view, we are almost there. The ISI Executive and the ISI Director have been working very hard on this delicate and time-consuming activity. The outcome should lead to the most fundamental changes to the ISI in its hundred and twenty-five years. Over these years, a vast number of changes had been made that resulted in statutes that were not only poorly structured but in a fair number of places were inconsistent and/or in violation of Dutch law. In their updated format, the original spirit of what the ISI was meant to be will be easily recognized. The proposed revision has been ratified with enthusiastic support by the ISI Council and has been scrutinized by a Dutch Notary Public.
Thus, everything is ready and will be presented to you for your approval. We hope that the ISI members will overwhelmingly support our endeavour when we submit the new Statutes and By-Laws. The actual voting will commence in May. However, according to the current Statutes, a vote on a revision will be valid only if one-third of the membership casts its vote. To accept the new Statutes, we need to reach this quorum and the majority of the votes needs to be in favour. It is therefore crucial that all ISI members vote: No vote is an indirect rejection of the new Statutes.
I count on your support for achieving the ISI objective to remain an active and relevant society.