Bayesian statistics

Better late than never

Even before the UK Government decided to call a snap election a month ago or so, I have been trying to do some work around the general topic of “elections” together with a number of colleagues, including Roberto Cerina (whom I’ve known since he was a student at UCL) and Raymond Duch at Oxford, as well as Christina Pagel at UCL and Christabel Cooper. The timing for the election was not the best — we were all busy doing our main job (which for some of us didn’t involve directly doing this…) so we didn’t manage to think carefully about all the bits and bobs we’ve started discussing.

Come and work with us!

We have an exciting opportunity in my group at UCL. We have a 5-year Senior Research Fellowship in Statistics and Health Economics — all details here. The post is Grade 8 with salary in the range £44,674 to £52,701 (depending on experience etc). I think it’s a really cool post: it’s co-funded by UCL and ICON, one of the leading consultancy companies in the area of economic evaluation and health technology assessment.

Time to think about the summer

-- As the Christmas break gets closer and closer, I thought it would be a very good time to actually forget about the cold, snowy weather (I know… I sound as if I lived in Antarctica… It’s actually nice and sunny and not that cold today…) and start planning for everybody’s summer holidays. So, we’ve now officially opened the registration for next year Summer School in Bayesian Methods in Health Economics.

Have I thought this through?

Of the many phrases and idioms in the English language, I think “have you thought this through” is one of my favourites — perhaps it’s the allitteration or that, if you’re not a native English speaker, you kind of have to concentrate to say it properly, with all the “h” sounds… And I often find myself wondering whether I’ve actually thought things through. Although, technically, that’s supposed to be my job — thinking things through and using (rigorously Bayesian) decision theory to make decisions…

New dates for the summer school

We’re nearly ready to advertise the new edition of our Florence summer school on “Bayesian methods in health economics”. This year, we’ve decided to change slightly the timing and we’ll have it from 20-24 July 2020. The the main set up is still unchanged, with its residential nature and the amazing location of the Centro Studi. After a few years in which for various reasons we’ve had to slightly change our team, we may be able to eventually revert to the full squad, which is very exciting!

Sharing (slides) is caring...

Earlier in November, I went to Copenhagen for the ISPOR conference. The first time I did go was in 2002 and for a while, I kind of lost interest (although I have still gone, occasionally), because I thought that the quality was just not great. BUT: in the past few years, I have to say I have enjoyed it massively and I have noticed a big improvement in the level of the talks/workshops — not all that you see there is outstanding, but then again, what’s the conference where this happens?

Available to preorder

I think we have the final version of the cover for our upcoming book Bayesian Methods in Pharmaceutical Research (BMPR), which I edited together with Emmanuel Lesaffre and Bruno Boulanger. The book will be published by CRC, collates contributions by leading researchers in the various aspects of Bayesian modelling within the pharmaceutical industry. I believe the book page at CRC website has already been created here. I believe the book is available to pre-order and should be published early in 2020!

Travel man

In the past couple of weeks, I have been doing lots of (mainly) work-related travelling — before you ask, that’s not me in the photo. But it’s not a (too) distant version of me either… Last week, I was in NYC to run a training course on Bayesian methods in health economics — kind of a shorter/condensed version of our summer school (incidentally, although the website is currently still pointing to last June’s edition, we’ve now finalised the dates for 2020.

Bayes in America

For the first time ever, the annual Bayes 20XX/Bayesian Biostatistics is going to be held outside Europe — in fact we’re going to be in Washington DC. It will be an unusual edition — the timing is also very different; normally we have the workshop late May/early June. But this year we’ve defered it to late September to more or less fit with other conferences happening at the FDA. We’ve made a big effort in creating stronger links with the regulators (and the Americans, in particular), so this is certainly a great result for our “Founding Father” Bruno Boulanger!

Short course: Bayesian methods in health economics

26-28 November 2019, ICON Plc, Stockholm office Instructor: Gianluca Baio (UCL) Lecture topics Day 1 - Introduction to Bayesian modelling and application to health economic evaluation Start End Topic Description 10:00 11:00 Lecture 1. Intro to Bayesian modelling The Bayesian paradigm - expressing uncertainty using probabilities. Overview of probability distributions for different types of quantity. Predicting data with uncertain parameters. Introduction to Monte Carlo sampling in BUGS.