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The Royal Statistical Society

Seal of the Royal Statistical Society

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The Statistical Society of London was founded in 1834, right on the heels of the foundation of Section F ("Statistics") of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1833.  The SSL was formed "in pursuance of a recommendation" in March, 1834 by the BAAS "for the purpose of collecting, arranging and publishing facts calculated to illustrate the position and prospects of Society, and especially facts which can be stated numerically and arranged in table....and the condensation, arrangement and publication of those already existing" ("Objects of the Statistical Society", 1876, p.3).   The motto of the SSL -  aliis exterendum ("for others to thresh out") - indicated that the society was concerned with facts  and only facts, interpretation and opinion was to be left to others.

At its founding, the SSL was housed on St. Martin's Lane, in  facilities rented from the Royal Society of Literature. In 1844, the SSL moved briefly to new rented facilities on Regent Street, and then, from 1846, for a considerably longer period of its history, it was at the London Library on St. James Square. (The Institute of Actuaries was a sub-tenant). In 1874,the SSL moved once again, this time to facilities in King's College London, a not-surprising choice given the long association of the society with the college (through Tooke, Newmarch, Thorold-Rogers, Leone Levi, William A. Guy and others (source)).

The Statistical Society of London was incorporated by royal charter in 1887 and was renamed the Royal Statistical Society.



Presidents of the Statistical Society

Term President of the SSL  
1834-36 Marquis of Lansdowne  
1836-38 Sir Charles Lemon  
1838-40 Earl Fitzwilliam  
1840-42 Viscount Sandon, Earl of Harrowby  
1842-43 Marquis of Landsowne  
1843-45 Viscount Ashley, Earl of Shaftesbury  
1845-47 Lord Monteagle  
1847-49 Earl Fitzwilliam  
1849-51 Earl of Harrowby  
1851-53 Lord Overstone  
1853-55 Earl Fitzwilliam  
1855-57 Earl of Harrowby  
1857-59 Lord Stanley  
1859-61 Lord John Russell  
1861-63 Sir J.S. Pakington  
1863-65 Col. W.H.Sykes  
1865-67 Lord Houghton  
1867-69 W.E. Gladstone  
1869-71 William Newmarch Inaugural Address (1869)
1871-73 William Farr Inaugural Address (1871)
Inagural Address  (1872)
1873-75 William A. Guy Inaugural Address (1873)
Inaugural Address (1874)
1875-77 James A. Heywood Opening Address (1876)
1877-79 George J. Shaw-Lefevre Inaugural Address  (1877)
Dinner Speech (1878)
Opening Address (1878)
1879-80 Thomas Brassey Inaugural Address (1879)
1880-82 Sir James Caird Inaugural Address (1881)
1882-84 Robert Giffen Inaugural Address (1882)
1884-86 Rawson W. Rawson  
1886-88 George Joachim Goschen  
1888- T. Graham Balfour Inaugural Address (1888)


Guy Gold Medal

The Guy Gold Medal, named after King's College physician and  pioneering statistician William A. Guy and awarded only occasionally to exceptional innovators in the field.  There is also a Guy Silver Medal that is awarded more frequently.

  • 1892 Charles Booth

  • 1894 Robert Giffen

  • 1900 Jervoise Athelsten Baines

  • 1907 Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

  • 1908 Maj. P.G. Craigie

  • 1911 George Udny Yule

  • 1920 T.H.C. Stevenson

  • 1930 Alfred W. Flux

  • 1935 Arthur L. Bowley

  • 1945 Major Greenwood

  • 1946 Ronald A. Fisher

  • 1953 A. Bradford Hill

  • 1955 Egon S. Pearson

  • 1960 Frank Yates

  • 1962 Harold Jeffreys

  • 1966 Jerzy Neyman

  • 1968 Maurice G. Kendall

  • 1969 M.S. Barlett

  • 1972 Harald. Cramer

  • 1973 David Cox

  • 1975 G.A.Barnard

  • 1978 Roy G.D. Allen

  • 1981 David Kendall

  • 1984 H.E. Daniels

  • 1986 B. Benjamin

  • 1987 R.L. Plackett

  • 1990 Peter Armitage

  • 1993 George E.P. Box

  • 1996 P. Whittle

  • 1999 Michael Healy

  • 2002 D. Lindley

  • 2005 John Nelder


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Resources on the SSL/RSS



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