As we announced in the April/May 2021 issue, the 2021 International Prize in Statistics was awarded to US biostatistician Nan Laird, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Biostatistics (Emerita) at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in recognition of her work on powerful methods that have made possible the analysis of complex longitudinal studies. Laird received the award, and accompanying $80,000, at the ISI Virtual World Congress in July, from Guy Nason, who chairs the International Prize in Statistics Foundation. 

Nan Laird

In the award ceremony, Laird said she was honored to receive the prize, and grateful to the five statistical societies who created the award [ASA, IMS, IBS, ISI and RSS: see], and to her many colleagues and friends who helped to make the award happen—notably Jim Ware, without whom, she said, the work on longitudinal studies would not have happened. She was “especially grateful” that her work was “recognized for having advanced public welfare and improved the quality of modern life,” adding, “I believe that statisticians touch the lives of all of us […] because of our many,  many contributions—often behind the scenes—to our understanding of science, especially the social sciences, health and medicine. I am delighted to see that our profession has taken this step to improve the visibility of statistics in society.” 

You can watch the video of the presentation of the Prize, together with Nan Laird’s International Prize in Statistics 2021 Lecture, Contributions to Longitudinal Studies, here.