Statistics plays a key role in all empirical sciences. The growing amount of data and the increasing complexity of research has created a high demand for statistical expertise for research, teaching, and advising.
A statistical advisor (or consultant) provides methodological and statistical advice and guidance on design of studies, sampling and analysis of data, and the presentation and dissemination of research findings, and may work in academia, industry, or the public sector. In addition to being trained in statistical methods and data analysis, a good advisor requires communication skills and the ability to collaborate with researchers from many different scientific fields.
Statistical advising is part of the activities at most biostatistical departments and, in many cases, takes up considerable resources. Advising may take on a wide variety of different forms from short-term contacts, consisting of limited tasks or short discussions, to partnership in long-term collaborations with wide-ranging mutual responsibilities. The common denominator is the cross-disciplinary meeting between statistics and other scientific disciplines. This provides biostatistical advisors with the opportunity to suggest or develop methods that can make a significant impact on research.
Biostatistical advising is also important to make sure that the large amount of resources invested in research (from both governmental and private sources) is spent efficiently and honestly, and that research performed on humans and animals is not performed unnecessarily or unethically. Incorrect methodological procedures and statistical evaluations can result in erroneous and potentially seriously misleading interpretation of research, and can have devastating clinical or public health impacts.
For the same reasons that we require research to be efficient and of high quality, a biostatistical advising service should also be organized as efficiently and with as high quality as possible.
The demand for biostatistical advising and the challenges of multidisciplinary work underpin the necessity of experts in the field of biostatistical advising, junior advisors, and clients to come together to discuss challenges, solutions, evaluations, organisation, and the science of biostatistical advising.
The aim of ADVICE|2018 is to help to improve existing biostatistical advising services at universities, university hospitals, and other research centers and to foster continued education of (young) advisors. Ultimately, ADVICE|2018 aims to provide a basis for the development of a set of “best practices” on modern biostatistical scientific advising.
We invite you to come to Oslo for this meeting to participate in development of this field.