The UK’s Royal Statistical Society has announced its 2020 awards. Among these, the Guy Medal in Silver is awarded to Arnaud Doucet for his numerous ground-breaking contributions to the development of theory and methodology in Bayesian inference and computational statistics. These include two influential papers in JRSSB: “Sequential Monte Carlo samplers” (with P. Del Moral and A. Jasra) published in 2006, and “Particle Markov chain Monte Carlo methods” (with C. Andrieu and R. Holenstein) which was read to the society in 2009. These, together with recent work on the Bouncy Particle Sampler, have each established new sub-areas of computational statistics and provided new ideas and algorithms that are widely used across a range of application domains. Professor Deborah Ashby, RSS president, said, “Professor Doucet is a more than worthy recipient of the Guy Medal in Silver. He has been a trailblazer in his field, having made extensive contributions to both computational statistics and the development of theory and methodology in Bayesian inference.”

The Guy Medal in Gold is awarded to David Spiegelhalter, for his contributions to the methodology, application and public understanding of statistical science, probability and risk. The Guy Medal in Bronze is awarded to Rachel McCrea for her innovative and novel work in statistical ecology, with particular reference to the development of goodness-of-fit tests and model selection strategies for complex ecological data.

The RSS Research Prize is awarded to Thomas B. Berrett for outstanding contributions to understanding and developing nearest neighbour methods for classification, entropy and related functional estimation, and for highly original work on independence and conditional independence testing. Of particular note is Tom’s paper, “The conditional permutation test for independence while controlling for confounders” (with Y. Wang, R.F. Barber and R.J. Samworth, JRSSB, to appear). Deborah Ashby commented: “Dr Berrett’s work on independence and conditional independence testing has been incredibly innovative, and a significant achievement for someone early on in their career.”

Judea Pearl is elected as an Honorary Fellow of RSS, for his foundational contributions to causal and counterfactual inference based on structural models. In particular, his development of a calculus for causal reasoning has had a profound impact on statistics and artificial intelligence. Deborah Ashby said: “Professor Pearl’s impact on statistics has been groundbreaking. In particular, he is to be commended for his development of a calculus for causal reasoning which has been momentous for both statistics and artificial intelligence.”