A Memorial Event for Mervyn Stone, UCL Statistical Science
1 February 2023
On 22 November 2022, UCL’s Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (IMSS) hosted a memorial event at Senate House for Mervyn Stone (27 September 1932 - 19 September 2020), a distinguished member of UCL Statistical Science who joined in 1968.
To celebrate Mervyn’s memory and legacy, family, friends and colleagues gathered in The Chancellor’s Hall to hear talks from notable academics whose own work has been influenced by Mervyn’s impactful statistical research.
Professor Gianluca Baio, current Head of Department (UCL Statistical Science) acted as chair throughout the proceedings, and offers a reflection on the event and Mervyn himself:
"It was a long overdue celebration of one of our brilliant former colleagues. Mervyn has made a lasting impact not only on our department, but the whole field of Statistics, so it's been a very proud moment for us".
With a prestigious schedule of speakers, organised by IMSS Senior Research Fellow Nicolás Hernández, the opening session included reflections from Professor Tom Fearn (UCL), Professor Philip Dawid (University of Cambridge) and Professor Rex Galbraith (UCL). These three speakers gave an impressive survey of Mervyn’s academic life, complete with their own remembrances of working alongside him as a colleague and friend, which lead to stimulating intellectual relationships throughout the years.
Professor Jane Galbraith (UCL) gave a presentation focussing on a joint piece of research with Mervyn, titled ‘The abuse of regression in the National Health Service allocation formulae: response to the Department of Health's 2007 “resource allocation research paper”’ (2011). Jane offered both professional and personal reflections on her time working as Mervyn’s colleague within UCL Statistical Science.
Backed by Mervyn’s research, a collaborative round table discussion built on the morning’s healthcare theme, as panellists spoke about the challenges of statistical modelling post-Covid. The IMSS had the pleasure of welcoming to the panel Professor Daniela De Angelis (MRC-Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge), Professor Karl Claxton (Centre for Health Economics, University of York), Professor Chris Holmes (Department of Statistics, University of Oxford), Professor Sheena Asthana (Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth) and Professor Valerie Isham, (UCL Statistical Science).
Memories of Mervyn Stone – Rex Galbraith
UCL Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
UCL Statistical Science
Top: The Chancellor's Hall, Senate House. Credit: Amanda Gallant.
Middle: Professor Jane Galbraith presents in The Chancellor's Hall alongside Mr Nigel Williams and Dr Paul Hewson. Credit: Amanda Gallant.
Bottom: Historical photographs of UCL Statistical Science, provided by the family. Credit: Amanda Gallant.