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IDSAI Seminar: Professor Deborah Ashby - Florence Nightingale, pigeonholes and mustard seeds: using data to improve health from the time of the Crimea to the time of the coronavirus

Open to University of Exeter staff and students

Watch the recording of Professor Deborah Ashby's seminar here:

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Florence Nightingale, best known as the Lady with the Lamp, is recognised as a pioneering and passionate statistician. She had argued successfully with her parents to be allowed to study mathematics, and later nursing, and then combined these skills with her political awareness to use data imaginatively and powerfully to improve health. As we celebrate the bicentenary of her birth in the most extraordinary of circumstances, the need for statistical and data skills to improve health show no signs of abating. What lessons can we draw from Florence Nightingale?

Professor Deborah Ashby is Director of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London where she holds the Chair in Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials, and was Founding Co-Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit. She is a Chartered Statistician and her research interests are in clinical trials, risk-benefit decision making for medicines, and the utility of Bayesian approaches in these areas. 

She is currently President of the Royal Statistical Society.  She has sat on the UK Commission on Human Medicines and acts as adviser to the European Medicines Agency.  She has recently chaired the Population Research Committee for Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research HTA Commissioning Board, and was Deputy Chair of the HTA Programme. Deborah was awarded the OBE for services to medicine in 2009, appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2010, and elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012. 


Professor Deborah Ashby