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By Jean-Louis Bodin, former ISI President (1999-2001)

As described in the earlier four articles dedicated to the ISI’s 135th anniversary and published on the ISI website between January and July 2020, the ISI was established in London on 24 June 1885 during
a meeting organized by the presidents of the Statistical Society of London and the Société de Statistique de Paris. During this meeting, 56 members were elected and are therefore considered the
pioneers and founders of our Institute. In addition, 23 honorary members were appointed. Below are the names of some of these elected or honorary members.

Some founding members elected in 1885:

  • Jacques Bertillon (1851-1922), France
    Statistician, demographer and mathematician; Head of the Statistical Office of the City of Paris; author (1893) of the International Classification of Diseases and Causes of Death; brother of Alphonse Bertillon, creator of forensic anthropometry.

  • Luigi Bodio (1840-1920), Italy
    ISI Secretary General (1885-1905), ISI President (1909-1920); President of the Italian Superior Council of Statistics; elected National Senator (1900); General Commissioner
    of Migration (1901–1904).

  • Horatio C. Burchard (1825-1908), USA
    Representative from Illinois to the US Congress (1869-1879); Director of the US Mint (1879-1885). During his tenure as the Director of the US Mint, he created the Consumer Price Index.

  • Nicolai Kiær (1838-1919), Norway
    Director of the Norwegian Central Bureau of Statistics; the first in the history of statistics who proposed that a representative sample rather than a complete enumerating survey could and should be used to collect information about a population.

  • Etienne Laspeyres (1834-1913), Kingdom of Prussia and German Empire
    Statistician and economist; creator of the price index named after his family name; descendant of a Huguenot family originally from the South-West of France who had emigrated to Berlin in 1696; this origin explains his insistence that his name be pronounced in an Occitan way “laspe-y –res” ("Las peiras" means "stones" in English).

  • Emile Levasseur (1828-1911), France
    Statistician, historian, geographer; ISI Vice-president (1885-1911); professor and administrator at the Collège de France; Honorary President of the French Geographical Society.

  • Wilhelm Lexis (1837-1914), German Empire
    ISI Vice-president (1899-1911); economist, statistician and sociologist; pioneer of demographic analysis through time series; inventor of the so-called Lexis diagram.

  • John Biddulf Martin (1841-1897), United Kingdom
    ISI Treasurer (1885-1897); banker and statistician; Honorary member of the Royal Statistical Society.

  • Frederic John Mouat (1816-1897), United Kingdom
    Surgeon, chemist and prison reformer; President of the Royal Statistical Society (1890); conducted trials on treating leprosy patients at the Bengal Medical College.

  • Sir Rawson W. Rawson (1812-1899), United Kingdom
    The first ISI President (1885-1899); government official and statistician; President (1884-1886) of the Statistical Society of London (that became Royal Statistical Society in 1887).

  • Karl Theodor von Inama Sternegg (1843 – 1908), Austro-Hungarian Empire
    ISI President (1899 – 1908); political scientist, statistician and economic historian; founder of the official publications of the Imperial and Royal Statistical Commission of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

  • Franz von Neumann-Spallart (1937-1888), Austro-Hungarian Empire
    ISI Vice-president (1885-1888); member of the Imperial and Royal Statistical Commission of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; professor of statistics at the University of Vienna.

  • Francis Walker (1840-1897), USA
    ISI Vice-president (1893-1897); economist, statistician, and military officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865); President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Boston, MA, USA (1881-1897).

Some honorary members appointed in 1885:

  • Edward Atkinson (1827-1905), USA
    Economist and inventor; founder of the American Anti-Imperialist League.

  • Vladimir Bezobrazov (1828-1889), Russian Empire
    One of the leading Russian economists of the 19th century; member of the Russian Senate (1885); member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

  • Léon Say (1826-1896), France
    Economist and statesman; President of the Société de Statistique de Paris in 1885; member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1874) and of the French Academy (1886); one of the three executors of Victor Hugo's wills; minister of Finances in ten governments of the 3 rd French Republic; member of the French Senate (1876-1882) then of the House of Deputies (1889-1896)


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