The 2022 ENAR/IMS Spring Meeting will take place in a hybrid format, both in-person at the Marriott Marquis Houston, TX, and online. Virtual participants will have access to the educational program, invited and contributed oral presentations, the Presidential Address, poster presentations, and virtual networking opportunities through the virtual meeting platform. The in-person ENAR 2022 Spring Meeting will have a focus on safety: proof of a COVID-19 vaccination will be required during the registration process and masks will be worn by all meeting participants, in all indoor meeting spaces. More on the meeting at A highlight of the program is the ENAR President’s Invited Address, which this year will be given by Joel B. Greenhouse, Carnegie Mellon University.

Proof in Medicine: The Role of Statistical Thinking

In 2009, Hal Varian from Google famously predicted that “the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.” Was he wrong? Have Data Scientists replaced Statistical Scientists? In this talk I not only agree with Varian (duh!) but argue that statisticians today have never been more critical to contributing to the advancement of the biomedical and public health sciences. 

Although there is a wide range of activities that engage statistical scientists, the one common element central to all of them is statistical thinking. Good statistical thinking, in part, requires a nontrivial understanding of the real-world problem; involves judgments about the relevance of the data and models; and evaluates the viability of alternative explanations for observed results. 

Using case studies from the history of medicine, I will illustrate how statistical thinking has always been a core element in what is now called the data sciences, and plays a central role in helping the scientific community reach consensus about causal questions of interest.

Joel B. Greenhouse is Professor of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Fellow of ASA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected Member of the ISI. He is also a recipient of CMU’s Robert E. Doherty Prize for Educational Leadership, and the William & Francis Ryan Teaching Award for Effectiveness in Teaching.

Greenhouse has served as President of ENAR and is currently on the Board of the IBS. He has served on several NAS committees, as well as a number of data and safety monitoring boards and scientific advisory committees for the NIH, the Veterans Administration, and the US Departments of Education and Transportation. Greenhouse is one of the Editors-in-Chief of Statistics in Medicine, and is a past editor of the IMS Lecture Notes–Monograph Series. 

His research interests include applications of Bayesian methods in practice, and methodological issues related to the use of research synthesis, especially as it is used to synthesize evidence for making policy and for scientific discovery.