Stats award seeks 'outstanding' innovation in use of official statistics

RSS Campion Award celebrates government statisticians' role in "answering some of society’s most important questions"

Government statisticians whose work demonstrates innovation and contributes to the public good are being invited to apply for the Royal Statistical Society’s annual Campion Award for Excellence in Official Statistics.

Entries for the 2022 award, in partnership with Civil Service World and the UK Statistics Authority, are now open.

The award recognises good practice and innovation in producing and presenting government stats for the public good.

And it “celebrates the role government statisticians play in answering some of society’s most important questions, from the impact of the pandemic to the effectiveness of our schools”, the RSS said.

It is named for the late Sir Harry Campion, a former RSS president and the first director of the UK Central Statistical Office, the forerunner to the Office for National Statistics, in the 1940s.

Last year’s winners were a team of statisticians whose analysis found people of particular ethnicities were at a greater risk of dying from Covid, and which the RSS said had had a “profound impact on decision-making – from government policy through to the handling of the disease in hospitals”.

The RSS said Covid-19 Deaths by Ethnicity, which analysed health inequalities and ethnicity during the pandemic, was an “outstanding example of work that was clearly communicated, innovative, timely and informing a critical topic”.

The project found black men were 4.2 times more likely to die from a Covid-19-related death and black women are 4.3 times more likely than white men and women.

It also found people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and mixed ethnicities were also significantly more likely to die than those of white ethnicity.

The chair of the judging panel, Dev Virdee, said of this year’s launch: “Government statisticians have been central to our pandemic response and have had to work under pressure over the last two years to produce the statistics the UK needs.

“No doubt this year’s entries will be a further demonstration of the excellent and innovative work produced by the Government Statistical Service.” 

UKSA chair Sir David Norgrove said the award presents “an opportunity for all those working on official data and statistics to be rewarded for their hard work and ingenuity, and for us to learn from each other’s successes”.

 “75 years on from the Statistics of Trade Act 1947, drafted by Sir Harry Campion, we remember his legacy and the powers he helped establish for official statisticians with this award,” he said.

“I look forward to finding out about how this year's finalists have innovated, adapted and collaborated to produce statistics for the public good,” he added.

Projects submitted for the award must have been completed in the last calendar year. Entries close on 19 April.

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