John L Eltinge, Assistant Director for Research and Methodology, U.S. Census Bureau
Title: Six Crises One Dozen Opportunities in Public-Stewardship Statistics
Abstract: In recent years, the methodological literature, advisory groups and statistical agencies have identified a number of perceived crises in the processes for production, dissemination and use of public-stewardship statistical information. Examples include degradation of some dimensions of data quality; the reproducibility crisis and other inferential issues; risks to privacy and confidentiality; reductions in availability of discretionary resources; changing expectations about public goods; and effects of the general decline in trust in science, expertise and public institutions.
This presentation explores these perceived crises through application and extension of some customary statistical models for measures of quality, risk and cost. These models point to some constructive responses that have the potential to produce substantial improvements in public-stewardship statistical work. One dozen opportunities receive special attention, including six opportunities for improved understanding of our operational procedures; and six opportunities for improved design of those procedures.