Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland

The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland (SSISI) has been in continuous existence since 1847. 

In The Spirit of Earnest Inquiry (1997), Mary E. Daly outlines the history of the Society, and makes the following observations:
"When the Statistical Society was founded in the mid-nineteenth century, societies that used statistics as a mechanism for investigating social questions were very much in vogue in Britain, continental Europe and in the United States. Most of these no longer exist; others have evolved into strictly professional bodies which tend to be dominated by full-time academics. The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society has not only survived but thrived, partly because until recently the small size of Ireland and the relatively undeveloped nature of professions such as economists and sociologists precluded the emergence of specialist representative organisations.
......... The modern Society is dominated by statistically-minded economists and sociologists, many of them employed within the public service and private business. Although academic members have always been prominent it is ranks, the Society has provided a particularly useful platform for people from outside the universities who are interested in research. The growing technical complexity of the papers read to the Society, their use of elaborate econometric and statistical methods, reflect the evolution of the economics profession within Ireland, and the more professional approach adopted to economic and social inquiry. Regrettably the membership of the Society and its concerns have narrowed."
Last year, on St. Patrick's Day, I posted about the famous Irish statistician, Roy Geary, who made many important contributions to both mathematical statistics and economic statistics. Geary was President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland at the time of its centenary, in 1947.

Enjoy a pint in celebration of all Irish econometricians and statisticians today!

© 2013, David E. Giles