RSS lecture to reveal UK government's plans to release open data


  • Date: 19 October 2012

This year’s Cathie Marsh Memorial Lecture at the Royal Statistical Society will focus on the government’s plans on providing accessible data to the public, which will be held on 13 November, 2012.

Cathie Marsh (1953-1993) was a gifted social scientist, who worked on sociological debate, empirical research and statistical modeling. She died at the tragically early age of 41 from breast cancer. She studied and later taught at the University of Cambridge before moving to the Centre for Census and Survey Research at Manchester, which is now named after her.

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The lecture will be led by three experts in the field: Iain Bell, deputy director, public sector and household at the Office for National Statistics; Simon Briscoe, special advisor (statistics) to the Public Administration Select Committee and deputy chair of the UK Data Service; and Peter Elias, professor at the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick.

The lecture will raise the current issues surrounding open data: the benefits and from the points of view of both providers and users of that data; the concerns users have such as invasion of privacy; what data is currently available and what could be made available; the challenges of processing and disseminating large amounts of data; the resources required and the accessibility of current formats.

'Open data has become a key issue for the coalition government, which has committed itself to publishing more public sector data than ever before. It is hoped that the increasing amounts of public sector information being made available to the public will promote transparency of government, improve policy-making, and boost business innovation. The UK has also just become the new lead chairman of the Open Government Partnership.’

The lecture has been jointly organized by the RSS Social Statistics Section and the Social Research Association, and will be chaired by John Pullinger, RSS president-elect.

For more information, please visit the events page on the RSS website.

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