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International Biometric Society - SUSAN Conference

Originally Published 23 June 2003

The International Biometric Society (IBS) is holding its eighth Biannual SUSAN Conference from 7 – 11 July 2003 at the University of Natal in South Africa.

About the Conference

The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum to discuss biometrical issues, problems and solutions that have been motivated by agricultural, health and medical concerns.

SUSAN (Sub-Saharan African Network of the International Biometric Society) is a network comprising International Biometric Society group members located in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The network exists to promote the advancement of the life sciences through the development, application, and dissemination of effective mathematical and statistical methods to its members.

SUSAN Conferences are held biannually to enable scientists in Africa to share their experiences in the application of Biometry through the presentation of research findings and to familiarise themselves with new research methodology through short courses and workshops. Since its formation, SUSAN has continued to grow in numbers and activities and to date membership is in excess of 250 scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa.


Funding is available for visiting academics from Sub-Saharan Africa. The IBS has provided $13,000 (US) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation is supplying a further €26,000 to meet travel and accommodation costs. The Rockefeller Foundation has decided to finance five Kenyan statisticians and the SAS Institute is considering supporting 15 South African participants.

Conference participants will be selected from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana and Namibia.

Attendees will be expected to share their new-found knowledge with their colleagues.

Sampling and Analysis of Messy Data

Dr Jane Hutton
Dr Jane Hutton
Dr Jane Hutton from Warwick’s Department of Statistics is the Chair of the Society’s Education Section. One of the roles of the Education Committee is to develop support for statisticians in developing countries. Dr Hutton has organised a pre-conference course on “Sampling and analysis of messy data” in co-operation with the local organisers. Ann Cowling, Australian National University, will teach on “Sampling of people with and without good maps and registers” and Dallas Johnson from Kansas State University will focus on agriculture data in the session on “Messy Data Analysis for Biometricians”.

Professional Ethics

During the Conference Dr Hutton will run a workshop on the International Statistics Insititute’s Declaration of Professional Ethics. The discussion will be incorporated into the revised Declaration.

Funding for the IBS’s educational programme is raised by providing short-courses at the Inistitute’s Bi-Annual Conferences. Dr Hutton is currently finalising four short courses for the 2004 conference in Cairns, Australia.

For more information on the forthcoming conference or any other IBS events contact Dr Hutton on

See Jane Hutton’s web pages -