Social Statistics section


The RSS Social Statistics Section arranges an annual programme of meetings on social statistics. The Section Committee may also form study groups for the examination and study of particular problems.
The main means by which the work of the Section is achieved is through the programme of meetings. The remit and activities of the Section are likely to be of interest to a wide range of audiences, including many people who would not consider themselves primarily (or at all) as “statisticians” and are not members of the Section. We encourage such people to get involved in our activities, and make sure that its meetings are generally accessible to non-statisticians.


The aims and objectives of the Section are:

  • To be concerned with the collection, dissemination, analysis, and interpretation of statistical data in all fields of social inquiry.
  • To aim to provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of a wide range of issues, methods and findings in the area of social statistics.

The programme of meetings is designed particularly for the following audiences:

  • Statisticians working in areas related to social statistics.
  • Researchers who carry out empirical social research using quantitative data.
  • Users of results of empirical social research, for example in the public and private sectors, politics and the media.


Chair: Tricia Dodd
Vice-chair: Joel Williams
Secretary:Ian Brunton-Smith  
Meetings secretary: Gwilym Pryce

Committee Members

Nickie Rose
David Hussey
Natalie Shlomo
Tom King
Nick Moon 
Tom King 
Alison Walker 
Matthew Dray new member
Salah Merad new member 
John MacInnes (Council Representative)
Richard Laux  (Co-opted)

Future meetings

View our events calendar:

Past meetings

In November we held a well-attended evening meeting on The rise of RCTs in Education: Statistical and Practical Challenges with Carole Torgerson (Durham University), Ben Styles (Research Director at National Foundation for Educational Research), Victoria Menzies (Research Trial Officer at Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) and Kevan Collins (Chief Executive of Education Endowment Foundation).
Our annual joint event with the Social Research Association the Cathie March Lecture this year had the topic What does the failure of the polls tell us about the future of survey research?  Patrick Sturgis professor of research methodology and director of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods gave a very interesting presentation and the chair & discussant Jill Matheson (who has served as National Statistician) sparked  lively discussion from the large audience. A drinks reception was kindly sponsored by the Sheffield Methods Institute. 
In December a joint event with Official Statistics Section took place on the 2014-based national population projections. Paul Vickers, head of population outputs at the ONS, described the methods and discussant Jane Falkingham (University of Southampton) led a useful discussion. 

News and meeting reports

Read news about the section and reports from our meetings.

Additional Information

Mailing list
The Cathie Marsh Lecture