Dec 19, 2012

2013: International Year of Statistics

The International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013)

IMS President Hans Künsch writes:

2013 is a special year for IMS since we celebrate not only the International Year of Statistics, but also the special year for Mathematics of Planet Earth. This gives us unique opportunities to promote the importance of our fields to other scientific communities, to decision makers in politics, business and industry, to students, and to the general public.

We all have experienced the fascination and joy that the analysis of chance, data and uncertainty brings. We are aware of the astonishing achievements that have been made in our field and of the impact and importance it has on our society. We are also convinced that our field can contribute much to solve the challenges that we currently face. However, not all of this is recognized in other scientific areas and among the general public. In particular, statistics is still too often viewed as a dull, marginal or dubious activity with a potential for manipulation and distortion. Hence the International Year of Statistics gives us a platform to reach out and present a more accurate view of our field. The year of Mathematics of Planet Earth allows us in addition to present the contributions of probability and statistics to modeling earthquakes, weather and climate, evolution, epidemics, agriculture, water and other processes.

This is best done at the grassroots level. It would be great if many IMS members could contribute, for example by writing articles for the press, or giving lectures to wider audiences. But even if you don’t have the capacity or ideas for special activities, it will already make a difference if you mention the celebration of the International Year of Statistics and the year of Mathematics of Planet Earth whenever you have a chance to do so. In particular you can link your webpage to the webpages for these events: and

IMS will put all of its ongoing activities under the umbrella of the International Year of Statistics—and, where appropriate, Mathematics of Planet Earth. In addition, we will have a number of special lectures and co-sponsored meetings and special issues of our journals dedicated to this special year. Stay tuned for more announcements!

I look forward to a unique and exciting year for probability and statistics.


Leave a comment




Welcome to the IMS Bulletin website! We are developing the way we communicate news and information more effectively with members. The print Bulletin is still with us (free with IMS membership), and still available as a PDF to download, but in addition, we are placing some of the news, columns and articles on this blog site, which will allow you the opportunity to interact more. We are always keen to hear from IMS members, and encourage you to write articles and reports that other IMS members would find interesting. Contact the IMS Bulletin at

What is “Open Forum”?

In the Open Forum, any IMS member can propose a topic for discussion. Email your subject and an opening paragraph (to and we'll post it to start off the discussion. Other readers can join in the debate by commenting on the post. Search other Open Forum posts by using the Open Forum category link below. Start a discussion today!

About IMS

The Institute of Mathematical Statistics is an international scholarly society devoted to the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. We have about 4,500 members around the world. Visit IMS at
Latest Issue