International Statistics Conference Highlights For Wednesday, 6 April, Apr 2005

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April 5, 2005
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

International Statistics Conference Highlights For Wednesday, 6 April

The International Statistics Institute conference continues tomorrow at Sydney's Darling Harbour Convention Centre.

Wednesday 6 April - Environmental statistics theme day

Today's sessions look at how statistics can help to assess environmental risks and reduce damage.


Statistics, environmental health and environmental risk assessment (Harbourside Auditorium 2)

This session will include the following presentations: The beginning of some exploratory environmental risk analysis; Quantifying uncertainty for environmental risk assessment; and Measuring pesticides, lead, allergens and other hazards in homes.

Statistical indicators measuring and influencing a nation's progress (Skyline Room 2)

This session will include the following presentations: The construction of indicators; Measuring national progress; Measures of Australian progress; National progress indicators - Sharpening the policy debate; and Growing Victoria together: when policy meet indicators.


Safeguarding the food chain (Harbourside Auditorium 2)

This session will include the following presentations: Assessing the dietary intake of arsenic by villagers in Bangladesh; Linking stressor and response relationships in fish; The monitoring of agricultural pests and changes in aquatic life in agriculture; and Recent changes in the great lakes ecosystem.


Beyond Kyoto - the science, policy and impacts of climate change (Harbourside Auditorium 2)

This session will include the following presentations: Climate change: facts? opinions? dilemmas?; Inferring climate from climate models; and Inferring human influence on climate.

Expanded detail is provided for the following session(s):

Statistics: safeguarding the food chain (Harbourside Auditorium 2)

At 13.00, a presentation of a paper by Barnes, Correll, Smith, Naidu and Huq will discuss statistical methods used to estimate the risk of arsenic poisoning to the Bangaldeshi villagers. They discuss how dietary studies were undertaken to assess the amount and sources of arsenic intake among Bangaldeshi villagers.

Sylvia Esterby looks at using statistics to monitor and manage insect pest populations and their effect on agricultural crop production. Statistical analysis of past data on insect numbers and damage to crops allows farmers to manage pests below certain thresholds. She will be speaking at 14.00.

Abdel El-Shaarawi and Ali Hadi of the National Water Research Institute in Canada will talk at 14.25 about the invasion of the Great Lakes in the USA and Canada by Zebra mussels which are threatening the local mussel species.

Statistical indicators measuring and influencing a nation's progress (Skyline Room 2)

This session presents alternatives to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth as a measure for national well-being.

At 09.00, Dr Clive Hamilton, Executive Director of the Australia Institute, will be speaking about the use of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) to assess our quality of life. GPI takes account of changes in well-being, including such things as changes in the distribution of income, the value of household and community work and the costs of unemployment, overwork and commuting.

In the same session, Jon Hall from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Analysis Branch will speak about ABS's publication, Measures of Australia's Progress, which looks at the question 'Is life in Australia getting better?'. Measures of Australia's Progress is built around 15 indicators of national progress that span Australia's economy, society and environment. It also looks at the inter-relationships between the different indicators, e.g. To earn more income people may need to work longer hours and so have less leisure time.

There will also be a floor discussion at the end of this session.

Media are invited to attend these events or any others that they may wish to cover throughout the Session. There are about 1,000 topics on all aspects of statistics from around the world. Many of them would have appeal to specialist reporters. Not since 1967, when the Session was last hosted in Australia, has there been a concentration of statisticians in Australia like this.

If you wish to come, please free to call me or send me an email. If you turn up unannounced at the conference please register at the reception desk on arrival.

TV and radio please note: There will be splitter boxes only in Harbourside Auditoriums 1 and 2.

Steve Dangaard
Director ABS Media and Public Affairs
PR Manager for ISI Conference. Tel: 0418 481 757

Detailed program and media releases at