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The ISI Side Event ‘Effective Communication of Statistics’ included presentations by ONS, Statistics Netherlands and ISI representatives, and was attended by more than 70 UNSC delegates. More in the report

Dear Members,

The COVID-19 and its rapid spread around the world is the major concern to us working in the ISI Permanent Office and our members throughout the world.

Following the advice of the Dutch Government we decided to close the Permanent Office. All ISI staff members currently work from home. We can access our e-mail and files remotely and thus continue the necessary ISI operations. The measures are in place up to and including 6th of April and will be reviewed in light of the development.

We hear from our members around the world about the measures taken: many schools, universities, statistical offices and institutes have closed their doors and remote teaching and remote working have become the norm. Everyone is working extremely hard to find the right tools and methods to figure out how to make it work. It requires innovative thinking, new technologies and above all flexibility.

The ISI Executive Committee issued an advice to evaluate whether or not we can proceed with planned international meetings, conferences, workshops etc. Currently, more and more events are being cancelled or postponed, not only in the period covering the coming weeks but also in the after-summer period. The ISI and our Associations are reviewing the effect on our forthcoming events. Any decision we take will be immediately announced on the website and communicated via social media. One more reason to stay connected through the social media including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (please see the links below).

My most important message to you is my hope that everyone stays healthy. Take good care of yourselves, your family, friends and co-workers.

Kind regards,

Ada van Krimpen
ISI Director

New Normal Now / Connected Community Always

One month ago I was visiting with statistical colleagues from around the world the vibrant city that never sleeps, New York City. Today, the streets of this city are empty, and, like most of you, I’m working from home with daily videoconferences to interact on projects. 

ISI continues to work hard with activities related to planning WSC 2021, determining WSC 2023 location options, investigating enhancements to our web presence and supporting activities of our community during these uncertain and evolving times. I thank our permanent office staff for their hard work supporting us from their homes.

Last month, we had an ISI Council call where we had updates about the International Year of Women in Statistics and Data Science: Happy 200th Birthday Florence Nightingale from ISI Councillor Jessica Utts and about the Working Group on Data Science from IASC President and Council Member Juergen Symanzik. I am very grateful to these leaders and members of these workgroups for their efforts on behalf of ISI.

In addition to these reports, the Council discussed ideas for recruiting new members, both regular and elected, and for recruiting sponsors. One task that ISI and in fact all professional societies need to address is why join a professional society when most if not all of the benefits of a society are available online. Bob Rodriguez, ISI Elected Member and former ASA President, made the distinction between values and benefits. The tangible benefits of journal access are not as important now as during the days when you only received publications by post. The values of membership continue – connection, community and impact.

ISI has given me much. It has made the world, particularly the statistical world, feel more connected. Interacting with statisticians from around the world and who work in areas and associations that differ from mine has expanded my thinking about our discipline. I have connections to colleagues and communities around the world that I would not have known otherwise. Ironically, this includes colleagues in my own country! Our voices together will have more impact than our separate voices. ISI can be a voice to promote our discipline to the next generation of statisticians and can be an advocate for the legitimate practice of statistics around the world. I am a proud member of my national statistical society, and I am delighted to engage as a world citizen in the ISI.

I am encouraged by individuals and organizations around the world who are supporting their colleagues with their generous sharing of resources. Publishers are making available research work related to COVID-19, and newspapers are removing coverage from behind firewalls to provide up-to-date stories about the pandemic. As part of my continuing professional education, I recently participated in a 4+ hour 2-part YouTube webinar related to ggplot2 and extensions that Thomas Lin Pedersen (@thomasp85) taught, and I am participating in two coursera.org courses related to programming. I encourage all of you to use these days of social distancing to find opportunities to growth professionally and personally.

Let me close by expressing gratitude to those health care workers and public health leaders who are working to lessen the suffering of those impacted by this pandemic, and I weep for those workers who have lost jobs or been furloughed during these uncertain days. I hope that these workers, you and your family will stay healthy. I look to the near future when we will be able to shake hands and warmly welcome each other again.

John Bailer (@john_bailer)
ISI President
06 April 2020




Significance—statistics making sense

The magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association

Six full colour issues a year, for everyone interested in statistics and the analysis and interpretation of data


ISI members can subscribe to Significance at special reduced rates.  If you are an RSS or ASA member, you will already be receiving Significance.

For ISI members the following rates are applicable:

Members from developed countries can subscribe in print for € 35

Members from developing countries can subscribe for online only for € 15

To subscribe, please contact Mrs. Margaret de Ruiter-Molloy at the ISI office.

All issues older than 12 months are available for free for everyone.


TIES Elections 2019


 Brief biosketches Ties Nominees 2019


Relevant Links


Several International organisations and professional associations have issued codes of ethics/ good practices and the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics are key in the operations of official statistical offices and organizations. Here follows a list of links to several of these codes and principles


World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building Awards

Participants from developing countries may apply for support to attend the WSC and associated events from the ISI’s allocation from this fund. A committee representing the diversity of the ISI family selects participants for this funding on the merit of their contribution to the WSC and its associated events, and to their country. The call for applications is made approximately 9 months prior to the WSC.


ISI Statements and Letters Concerning Statistical Ethics


The ISI has undertaken action in specific cases. An overview of the ISI letters, statements and discussion papers is given below:




  • ISI Statement about persisting legal action against Andreas Georgiou, former ELSTAT President. Why is he being prosecuted after eight years for following Statistical Principles?
    Dated 18 December 2019

  • Commendation of Andreas Georgiou: On 18 September 2018, during a Special Meeting on National Statistical Offices’ Professional Independence prior to the 16th IAOS Conference in Paris, a special Commendation was awarded to Andreas Georgiou, former President of ELSTAT. The commendation was presented by six major statistical organizations including ISI.
    Dated 18 September 2018

  • The following organisations supported the commendation:
    Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI)
    Statistics Portugal
    Uppsala University
    Dated 23 October 2018


  • Georgiou Sees the Award as a Signal to Other Statisticians who Fight for Professional Integrity: 'You Are Not Alone'. The former President of ELSTAT Andreas Georgiou says he is deeply honoured by the commendation from the international statistical community for his continued fight for trustworthy statistics “This is another example of all the support I have received from the international community.”
    Dated 21 September 2018


  • Background and chronology of court proceedings against Andreas Georgiou, former President of ELSTAT (the Hellenic Statistical Authority)
    Dated 9 November 2019

  • For further information of the prosecution of Andreas Georgiou, see Miranda Xafa‘s fully documented article in World Economics, Vol. 20, No. 3, July-September 2019.
    Dated 9 November 2019

  • ISI Statement about Conviction of Andreas Georgiou, former ELSTAT President
    Dated 8 August 2017

  • Third Annual Report of the Good Practice Advisory Committee (GPAC) of the Hellenic Statistical System
    The report presents the status of the implementation of principles 1 to 6 (institutional environment, such as the principles of Professional Independence, and of Impartiality and Objectivity) of the European Statistics Code of Practice in the Greek statistical system, covering the period 2015-2016. More>> 
    Dated 26 January 2017

  • ISI Statment on ELSTAT
    How can work of the highest professional calibre and ethical standard lead to prosecution? More>>
    Dated 15 September 2016

  • Open Letter from ISI on matters related to judicial proceedings in Greece
    The ISI has published an open letter regarding the judicial proceedings in Greece against Mr Andreas Georgiou, the President of ELSTAT, and comments from two former ELSTAT members about the  organization of an Open Meeting entitled ‘Intrusion of the judiciary in the course of the production of official statistics’ during the World Statistics Congress in Hong Kong. More>>
    Dated 16 September 2013

  • The ISI issued a Statement to express its profound disappointment and serious concern over the prosecution of Mr Andreas Georgiou, President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and two of his ELSTAT Managers.
    Supporters are invited to endorse the statement by subscribing here. The names will be published on the website.
    Dated 28 February 2013

  • Letter by the ISI President to the President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority, Mr. Andreas Georgiou, in support of his endeavour to comply with the high international standards for producing good quality and impartial statistical information about the Greek economy and society.
    Dated 5 January 2012


Other relevant information:


  • The Third Annual Report of the Good Practice Advisory Committee (GPAC) to the Hellenic Statistical System.
    The report presents the status of the implementation of principles 1 to 6 (institutional environment, such as the principles of Professional Independence, and of Impartiality and Objectivity) of the European Statistics Code of Practice in the Greek statistical system, covering the period 2015-2016. The ongoing court case is the major focus of the report on Principle 1, Professional Independence, and a feature of the Report on this occasion is also the inclusion of an appendix detailing the chronology of the court proceedings to-date.

  • Second Annual Report of the Good Practice Advisory Committee Hellenic Statistical System.
    Many members may be aware of on-going concerns regarding the Greek Statistical System where the head of the office is facing prosecution on issues concerning the integrity of official economic statistics. The Second Annual Report, for the year 2014 from the independent Good Practice Advisory Committee provides a good summary of the current situation.
    published in January 2015

  • The Good Practice Advisory Committee examined ELSTAT’s implementation of Principles 1 to 6 of the European Statistics Code of Practice and made an overall assessments and recommendations. Read the full report
    published in September 2013








Reviews, Other Documents


The ISI Service Awards are given for outstanding service to the ISI and the statistical community. They are selected every two years by the Executive Committee and are presented at the Awards Ceremony during the World Statistical Congress (WSC). The ISI Awards Committee has the opportunity to suggest candidates.


The 2019 ISI Service Awards recipients were:


Yves Grize

Yves Grize

For outstanding and dedicated leadership and service as SPC Chair for ISI 2019, 62nd WSC.

  Ray Chambers

Ray Chambers

For serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of ISI’s flagship journal International Statistical Review from April 2015 – August 2018.

Marc Genton

Marc Genton

For serving as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Stat from January 2015 – December 2017.


Pedro Silva

Pedro Silva

For his invaluable efforts in organising ISI 2015, the 60th WSC in Rio de Janeiro.



The 2017 ISI Service Awards recipients were:


Fabrizio Ruggeri

Fabrizio Ruggeri

For outstanding and dedicated leadership and service as Scientific Programme Committee Chair ISI2017, 61st WSC.

  Belkacem Abdous

Belkacem Abdous

For outstanding and dedicated leadership and service as Local Programme Committee Chair ISI2017, 61st WSC.

Hasnae Fdhil

Hasnae Fdhil

For outstanding and dedicated service to ISI2017,
61st WSC.


Irena Krizman

Irena Krizman

For outstanding and dedicated leadership and service to ISI and the international statistical community in Statistical Capacity Building developments and innovations, including:
ISI leadership workshops and meetings across Africa; Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; UN World Data Forum, Cape Town, January 2017; and ISI side events to UNSC.


The 2015 ISI Service Awards recipients were:


Frank Samaniego

Frank Samaniego

Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the 60th ISI WSC.

  Nancy Garcia

Nancy Garcia

Chair of the Local Programme Committee for the 60th ISI WSC.

Marc Hallin

Marc Hallin

Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Statistical Review.


Nicholas Fisher

Irena Krizman

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Stat.


Toh Hock Chai and Shyamala Nagaraj

For ISI’s regional initiatives in South East Asia and for the inaugural ISI Regional Statistics Conference in 2014.


The Advisory Board on Ethics


The ISI Advisory Board on Ethics (ABE) was established in 2010.

The ABE advises the EC and Council on relevant ethical issues and recommends or undertakes activities for promoting observance of ethical principles in statistics. The work of the Board is based on the ISI Declaration on Professional Ethics and guided by the relevant objectives of the ISI and its mission. The objectives, which seem particularly relevant in this respect, are as follows:

  • To promote and disseminate research and best practices in the statistical sciences
  • To establish an appropriate role for the ISI in promoting public awareness of good statistical practice and its value to the community, and in supporting good practice
  • To enhance the ISI’s support for the statistical community in developing countries


The points of the ISI mission, which are especially relevant to the activities of the Board, are the following:

  • Promoting excellence in the practice of statistics
  • Supporting the international statistical community in promoting the establishment and maintenance of sound statistical institutions


The scope of the work of the Advisory Board on Ethics is the full range of statistics, including official statistics.


The role of the Advisory Board is to:

  • Provide advice to the Executive Committee or Council of the ISI on how to respond to ethical issues that are brought to its attention by the Committee or Council;
  • Assist the Executive Committee or Council with providing advice on ethical issues to individual ISI members or institutional members seeking such advice.
  • Recommend the Executive Committee or Council on activities that the ISI should pursue to address emerging ethical issues, especially the promotion of good practices; and
  • In this light, suggest an appropriate activity for each World Statistics Congress.


The Advisory Board on Ethics is chaired by Mr. Stephen Penneck.
The composition of the ABE can be found here.


Activities of the Advisory Board:

The Advisory Board should not just react to issues referred to it by the Executive Committee or Council. It should also recommend specific activities concerning ethical issues that are emerging, perhaps as a result of new principles or guidelines.


Types of activities the Advisory Board might consider are as follows:

  • It might propose meetings at the World Statistics Congress or elsewhere to discuss and support ethical principles in emerging areas of concern.
  • Given that documents and presentations from these meetings can often provide very useful reference material, it might propose the preparation of publications, articles in existing ISI publications, or a web page with this purpose in mind.
  • It might recommend establishing ad hoc committees, working groups, etc. to provide advice to the Executive Committee or Council on specified areas that are outside the areas of expertise of the Advisory Board or require detailed consideration.
  • Where advice on ethical or integrity issues is sought by a member or institution (as distinct from asking the ISI to intervene on their behalf), the ISI should attempt to respond consistent with its objective to enhance the ISI’s support for the statistical community in general, and in developing countries in particular. The Advisory Board should assist the Executive Committee and Council to the extent requested and feasible. Any advice should be guided by the ISI Declaration of Professional Ethics.
  • The Board may co-opt experts in particular fields (preferably ISI members) or set up working groups to investigate particular issues.
  • Modalities and processes with respect to Terms of Reference 1:
  • Investigate in the light of the ISI Declaration of Professional Ethics the facts to ensure that allegations of ethical breaches are correct and to better understand the issues at hand;
  • Draw the issue to the attention of the relevant Association of the ISI and ask if they want to be involved;
  • Co-opt experts to the Advisory Board if the relevant expertise does not already exist on the Advisory Board;
  • Circulate a draft of the advice to the Executive Committee and/or Council to all stakeholders for comment; and
  • Finalize the advice and forward to the Executive Committee and/or Council together with a summary of comments received during the stakeholder consultation.

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