Professor Sir John Aston has been appointed as a non-executive board member of the UK Statistics Authority for a period of three years beginning on 1 July 2021.

Professor Aston is Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life at the University of Cambridge, where he leads research into the use of quantitative evidence in public policy making, works with those in public life to ensure the best methods are used, and aims to improve the use of statistics and other quantitative evidence in public policy debates. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to statistics and public policymaking.

Until recently he was also the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, and formerly was a board member and trustee of the Alan Turing Institute.

Professor Aston specialises in applied statistics, with particular interests in official and public policy statistics, statistical neuroimaging, and statistical linguistics. He has previously spent time working in the United States and Taiwan.

Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, said:

“I am delighted to welcome John to the UK Statistics Authority Board. He has spent his career working on statistics for the public good, and brings to the Board technical expertise combined with a deep practical understanding of the application of statistics and data to public policy. This expertise will be invaluable as we continue our transformation of the statistical system. The Board and I are very much looking forward to working with him.”

Minister for the Constitution and Devolution, Chloe Smith MP, said:

“I am pleased to welcome Professor Aston to the UK Statistics Authority Board and confident that his expertise will make an important contribution to the work of the Board in continuing to promote statistics to serve the public good.”

Professor Sir John Aston said:

“I am very excited to be joining the Board of the UK Statistics Authority. As we have seen, particularly over the last year, the good use of statistics is critical to decision making for our country. I very much look forward to working with the Authority to promote and ensure the best use of data within the statistical system and beyond.”

Further information

  • The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm’s length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
  • The Authority’s statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.
  • Professor David Hand OBE FRA is standing down from the Board at the end of his term of appointment on 1 July 2021.
  • For more information please contact the Authority Press inbox or call 03000 671 570.