Celebrating 50 years of Medical Statistics
On the 8th and 9th of October 2019 we celebrated the 50th birthday of the Institute of Medical Statistics together with former and current members, collaborators and friends. After a welcome by the university’s rector Markus Müller, the milestones of the department’s 50 year-long history and its major achievements were brought to life by the department head Martin Posch.
The highlight of the evening, however, was the keynote talk by Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. In his insightful and entertaining talk on “Trust in Numbers”, he addressed the reproducibility crisis in science and impressively demonstrated the need to appropriately communicate the uncertainty of quantitative and scientific evidence. Press offices, the public press and also the scientific community were not spared from criticism as “numbers are often used to persuade rather than inform”.
The second day of the symposium was dedicated to the current research of former and current members of the institute. On the one hand methodological research was presented as in talks on “deep neural networks” and a “population-wise error rate”. Insights into the applied research was given by talks on medical projects as the nutrition day study or the collaboration with the Austrian Center for Documentation and Quality Assurance in Intensive Care Medicine. Furthermore, with a little humor thrown in, the audience was entertained with “Humoriges aus der Ethikkommission” and “When the patient became a customer”.
We enjoyed meeting former and current members as well as collaborators and friends of the department. It was a pleasure to jointly remember past achievements and anecdotes while looking forward to the next 50 years.