Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers for the 2021 conference were Alan Smith and Ian Bott from the Financial Times and Janet Wittes from WCG Statistics Collaborative.

Alan Smith, Head of Visual and Data Journalism, Financial Times

Ian Bott, Graphic Artist, Financial Times

Covid-19: Visualising the pandemic: Alan and Ian will talk about the Financial Times' use of visuals to present quantitative information and scientific concepts to a wide audience. The talk will include examples of data visualisation and scientific illustration produced by the FT as part of its coronavirus coverage.

Janet Wittes, President, WCG Statistics Collaborative

Designing trials for orphan and ultra-orphan indications: During the middle ages, painters portrayed infants as tiny versions of adults; only during the Renaissance did infants in paintings begin to look like real babies. The analogy to clinical trials is direct. A clinical trial studying a very rare disease should not be designed or implemented as a miniature version of a large randomized trial. While a bit of sloppiness or imprecision may not compromise the validity of a large trial, each observation in a tiny trial is precious. Among other topics addressed in this talk will be the vexing problem many trials of orphan indications faced in defining a control group; the problem becomes even harder in studying an ultra-orphan disease. Three types of controls are common: randomized, as was done for Luxterna; historical controls, as was done for Brineura; and the increasingly popular “patient as his or her own control”. The advantages and disadvantages of the three types will be discussed along with the kind of study outcome, and the approach to statistical analysis, appropriate for each.

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