Georges Morlat (1924 – 2022)
Georges Morlat passed away on 8 May 2022. On 16 May he would have celebrated his 98th birthday. Georges Morlat was an elected ISI member from 1967 until early 1990s. He was a very influential statistician in the 1960s and spent his career in business, mainly at Electricité de France (EDF). As scientific adviser at EDF – a position at the highest level outside the hierarchy – he worked with Marcel Boiteux (1), one of the most brilliant French mathematicians-economists who theorized and implemented the pricing of electricity at marginal cost and was one of the architects of the development of the nuclear industry in France. Georges Morlat was thus one of the best examples of the links between university and business.
As a disciple of Leonard J. Savage (2) , expert in decision theory, he developed, together with Daniel Bachelet, a forecasting model known as the two-hazard model. He collaborated with Georges Th. Guilbaud and Marc Barbut in the field of mathematics applied to the human sciences. He supported and encouraged the beginnings of data analysis in France by directing one of his founding works in a book on an Introduction to data analysis (3). He is the author of the article on Statistics in the Encyclopedia Universalis.
Georges Morlat was a professor at ISUP, the Statistical Institute of the Universities of Paris created in 1924, where he trained generations of statisticians.
As a statistician between university and business, Georges Morlat was one of the founders in 1969 of the ASU (Association of Statisticians in Universities, which became the Association
for Statistics and its Uses in 1987) and was its second president in 1973-1974. He was also President of the Société de Statistique de Paris (SSP) in 1980. He was named honorary member of the French Statistical Society (SFdS) when this learned society was created in 1997 with the merger of the SSP and ASU. He was one of the vice-presidents of the National Organizing Committee of the 47th ISI Session (4) held in Paris in 1989.
Georges Morlat will be immensely missed by the community of statisticians and economists, both those who knew him personally and those who do and will know him through his works.
(1) Marcel Boiteux, born in 1922, was an ISI member from 1963 to 1984.
(2) Leonard J. Savage is very well known for his reference book The Foundation of Statistics (1954). He was an ISI member from 1958 until his death in 1971.
(3) Introduction à l’analyse des données by F. Cailliez and J.P. Pagès (1976, Smash)
(4) ‘ISI sessions’ was the former name of the ISI World Statistical Congresses.