People to People

I found in my mailbox today a very surprising mail from Sastry Pantula, current president of the ASA, inviting me to participate in a delegation of statisticians to China. (Most likely, the ASA first computed the expected response rate to this letter and multiplied the number of invitations accordingly!) The goal of this 12 day trip to China is to “explore matters of common interest regarding the development of statistical capacity in the workforce and statistical literacy in the general population. Delegates will learn about statistical literacy efforts in China, how statisticians are trained, and what statistical methods are found to be particularly useful in industry and agriculture.”  Delegates are also supposed to fund their own trip at an estimated cost of $5,495… What I find surprising is that a large professional and highly active society like ASA engages into this kind of very old-fashioned and dubiously profitable tradition of delegations, especially when considering the large amount of U.S. statisticians with Chinese origins who are presumably most aware of the possible links between statisticians from both countries. (Of course, missing a visit to Xi’an is a shame, but I hope to go there next year for the O’Bayes 2011 meeting, even Shanghai and Xi’an are not that close…) But I may obviously be missing an important feature of those People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs I have never heard of previously!

2 Responses to “People to People”

  1. Nicolas Chopin Says:

    received the same letter three weeks ago… A bit pricey, right?

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