Data Ethics Special Interest Group


The Data Ethics SIG is a newly formed special interest group of the Royal Statistical Society that was established in 2018. The SIG includes representatives from various RSS Sections, media communicators, governance structures and academic interests. It was formed to address emerging topics in the burgeoning data ethics landscape, including coordinating the broad RSS interest in data stewardship and following up the RSS Data Manifesto proposal for a council on data ethics.


The remit of the Data Ethics SIG is to be a focus for data ethics across the RSS. The SIG will organise meetings for a broad range of attendees and engaging with Sections, particularly Data Science Section on topics such as algorithms. The SIG will work to enhance the visibility of ethical issues about data that do not relate to ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) and produce outputs:

  • Promoting good practice by addressing what good data stewardship and ethical practices look like (with exemplars) and what they do not look like.
  • Promoting the statistical aspects of data e.g. coverage, bias and stochastic rather than deterministic thinking
  • Being a trusted voice on data ethics, including inputting to consultation exercises
  • Coordinating data ethics interests across the RSS, throughout the UK landscape, and offering international leadership
  • Promoting the skills development of data ethics across all career stages and disciplines
  • Lifting the quality of the conversation and raising standards of transparent public engagement
  • Fostering multi-disciplinary connections and the exchanging of ideas
  • Concluding by the end of 2020 to recommend forming a new Section or winding up.


Chair: Peter Elias
Secretary: Tom King

Committee members

Mark Elliot
Timandra Harkness
Katie Harron
Kevin McConway
Madeleine Murtagh
Nicola Stingelin
Cathal Walsh
Leone Wardman
Sam McGregor (co-opted)
Hetan Shah (Council representative)

Additional information

Mailing list: Data Ethics SIG
Twitter: @RSS_DE_SIG