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Nominations Sought for Links Lecture Award

1 June 2021 No Comment

Data from official statistics is the direct or indirect basis for an enormous number of important decisions. Yet, as many ASA members know, the producers of official statistics must continually fight for resources and other support. With the proliferation in recent years of alternative data sources and techniques (often put under the umbrella of “big data”), some policymakers have even called into question the need for official statistics, not realizing in how many cases official statistics serve as an essential benchmark for other data sources. In addition, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 and recommendations of the congressionally chartered Commission on Evidence-Based Policy point to a need for the producers of official statistics to rethink methods and strategies, including the broader use of administrative data.

Recognizing the possibilities and challenges for official statistics, the ASA created the Links Lecture Award in 2017 to focus on this area. The award was created in honor of three statisticians whose careers have been critical links in the forward movement of official statistics: Constance Citro, Robert Groves, and Fritz Scheuren.

Each year, a distinguished person is selected to give a lecture dealing with forward-looking issues such as use of administrative records and alternative data sources; record linkage; blended estimation techniques; and associated issues such as privacy, confidentiality, researcher access, and reproducibility of results.

A key aspect of this award is the awardee’s lecture, which is an opportunity to share his or her vision for innovating official statistics with a broad audience. In normal times, the lecture is presented in Washington, DC, to directly engage with the federal statistical community. The 2021 award lecture will be the fourth in the series. Earlier awardees include Frauke Kreuter (University of Maryland/Michigan Joint Program in Survey Methodology), Bruce Meyer (The University of Chicago), and Daniel Goroff (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation/National Science Foundation).

The ASA committee charged with selecting the 2021 awardee is seeking nominations of candidates who have contributed to the advancement of official statistics and who have a compelling vision for further progress, as well as the ability to share their vision through an inspiring and engaging lecture. The committee asks for a nominating letter, a supporting letter, and a current CV. Self-nomination is allowed. The closing date for nominations is July 1.

The award comes with a modest honorarium and reimbursement for travel expenses. The lecture will take place in the autumn at a time agreeable to the speaker.

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