Environmental Statistics

April 22, 1998

Environmental statistics is an important and rapidly growing discipline. It is important not just as a division of professional and academic statistics, but also in the gathering of data on environmental effects and in the formulation of environmental policy by government agencies. This meeting brings together contributions from professional and academic statisticians, from government statisticians and policy makers, and from administrators and scientists actively involved in collection of data. The purpose of this meeting is to explore the interfaces between the different areas of application of environmental statistics and to consider the future applications of methods arising from environmental statistics.

Some of the participants will deal specifically with environmental models and methods. Here, the contributors explain specialised statistical techniques, which have been developed for analysing environmental data, and mathematical models that have been applied to the problem of integrating large amounts of environmental data into a coherent picture of particular environmental systems. Several of the contributions deal specifically with the problems involved in co-ordinating data collection over large geographical areas and over many dimensions of measurement relevant to environmental issues. Finally, a number of the contributions analyse the problems of formulating specific environmental policies given the nature of the information that has been made available by environmental statistical methods.

This meeting is relevant to both statisticians and environmentalists or environmental scientists. Roughly one-third of the participants are professional statisticians and some of the papers will present new statistical techniques. Environmental science is the unifying theme throughout this meeting and will therefore appeal to anyone who is interested in science and policy-making in the environmental sciences.

This meeting represents an integrated approach to environmental statistics in that it covers not only the statistical methods but also the associated data collection issues and policy issues. It will also cover a systematic account of the problems of formulating environmental policies, with input from representatives of major organisations involved in environmental policy-making.

The publication resulting from this meeting will be one of the first integrated overviews of a newly emerging academic field of research.

Gregory R Bock PhD DSc
Deputy Director, The Novartis Foundation

Novartis Foundation

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