Conference Information

The 2017 American Statistical Association Symposium on Statistical Inference follows up on the historic American Statistical Association (ASA) Statement on P-Values and Statistical Significance. The statement called for moving statistical analysis and evidence-based decision making beyond “bright line rules” toward a “post-p < 0.05 era.”

Although the problems identified in the statement have been known for several decades, previous expressions of concern and calls for action have not fostered broad improvements in practice. Recognizing this failure and seeking to move beyond the “Don’ts” highlighted by the ASA statement—the inappropriate interpretations and uses of p-values and significance tests—the Symposium on Statistical Inference will focus on the “Do’s.” Discussions will center on specific approaches for improving statistical practice as it intersects with three broad components of research activities:

Conducting research in the 21st century

  • Lessons learned from efforts at reform of statistical testing, including de-emphasis or banishment
  • Differences between scientific inference and formal statistical inference
  • Designing research
  • Improving and advancing statistical methods
  • Measuring and expressing uncertainty
  • Role of judgment and expert opinion

Using research in the 21st century

  • Understanding the needs of users of statistical evidence
  • Making evidence available and accessible
  • Making decisions under uncertainty

Sponsoring, disseminating, and replicating research in the 21st century

  • Incentives for better research
  • Improving peer review and editorial decision making
  • Strategies for improving reproducibility and replicability

This symposium will drive change that leads to lasting improvements in statistical research, communicating and understanding uncertainty, and decision making. Teams of symposium attendees will develop papers, briefs, practice guides, and statements about a wide variety of topics to help researchers, research sponsors, journal editors and referees, regulators, educators, the media, and policy and other decision makers.

Target Audience

The symposium is open to all. Every attendee will have the opportunity to engage, either as a presenter or panelist or through other means to provide input (e.g., during Q&A segments in each presentation or in writing to the organizers). Anticipated attendees include the following:

  • Statisticians from a broad range of areas of practice
  • Nonstatisticians from the broader research community (including researchers in academe, business/industry, and government)
  • Research sponsors, including both private organizations and government agencies that conduct or fund research
  • Journal editors, reviewers, and others involved in publication decisions (e.g., staff within government agencies, foundations, and industry)
  • The media, including print and broadcast writers and editors, science writers, bloggers, newsletter writers, etc.
  • Consumers, users, and evaluators of research, including policy makers, program administrators, regulatory authorities, business managers, physicians, lawyers, judges, principals, deans and provosts (and tenure/promotion committees), teachers, and ordinary citizens
American Statistical Association     American Psychological Association

Key Dates

  • June 15, 2017
    Early Registration and Housing Opens
  • September 12, 2017
    Early Registration and Housing Deadline
  • September 13, 2017
    Regular Registration Open (increased fees apply)
  • October 11, 2017 – October 13, 2017
    SSI in Bethesda, MD