List of presidents of the Royal Statistical Society

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The President of the Royal Statistical Society is the head of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), elected biennially by the Fellows of the Society. (The time-period between elections has varied in the past, and in fact elections only rarely occur.).

The President oversees the running of the Society and chairs its council meetings. In recent years, almost all presidents have been nominated following many years' service to the Society, although some have been nominated to mark their eminence in society generally, such as Harold Wilson.

There has only been one contested election in the Society's history; in 1977, many fellows objected to the nomination by the Council of Campbell Adamson because he was not a statistician, was said to have made derogatory comments about statisticians, and principally because in the previous year he had been defeated in an election to the Council of the Society, and fellows felt that he was being foisted upon the Society by the current 'establishment' in an essentially undemocratic fashion. Henry Wynn was nominated by several fellows (including Adrian Smith, himself later president, and Philip Dawid) and won the election.

In 2010, Bernard Silverman stepped down very early in his presidential term. This was due to being appointed as chief scientific advisor to the home office which presented a conflict of interest as the society sometimes issues expert statements on statistical matters in public life.

Despite women being elected fellows from 1858, only four have been president of the society. The current president is Deborah Ashby. Sylvia Richardson will take over from January 2021, becoming the fifth female president

Honorary presidents[edit]

Three Princes of Wales have been an honorary president:

List of presidents[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]


  1. ^ "Society's new president". RSS News. Royal Statistical Society. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  2. ^ "New president takes over". RSS News. Royal Statistical Society. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  3. ^ "Peter Diggle to begin his RSS presidency early as John Pullinger steps down". Statslife. Royal Statistical Society. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  4. ^ "David Spiegelhalter's Personal Home Page". Retrieved 2017-04-18.

External links[edit]