Centre for Statistics

The David Finney Lecture

An annual lecture held to commemorate Prof. David Finney (1917-2018) that aims to highlight exceptional research in the field of applied statistics.

Prof. David Finney (1917-2018)

Prof. David Finney
Prof. David Finney

Prof David Finney was a statistician, based at the University of Edinburgh from 1966 until his retirement in 1984. He pioneered the development of systems for monitoring drug safety, with his reports and papers on the subject greatly infuencing the monitoring systems in place today. His two most widely known books, Probit Analysis (1947) and Statistical Method in Biological Assay (1952), both redefined those subjects.


David was President of the Royal Statistical Society(1973-4), President of the Biometric Society (1964-5), a fellow of the Royal Society (from 1955), a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was awarded a CBE in 1978. He served on Advisory Committees for the FAO and WHO and chaired the Flowers Committee 1970-74, which helped determine the way in which computing should develop in UK universities and research councils.

This year's lecture will take place in October, and you can watch some of the previous David Finney Lectures via the links below.

The 7th David Finney Lecture (2023)

Bin Yu presented The 7th David Finney Lecture in May 2023.

The 6th David Finney Lecture (2022)

Professor Mark Girolami (University of Cambridge) presented the 6th David Finney Lecture

The 5th David Finney Lecture (2021)

Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen (Queensland University of Technology) delivered the 5th David Finney Lecture "Crikey - it's a Bayesian!"

The 4th David Finney Lecture (2020)

Prof. Sir David Spiegelhalter presented the 4th David Finney Lecture on 'Communicating statistics, risk and uncertainty in the age of Covid'.

3rd David Finney Lecture (2019)

Prof. Ian Dryden presented the 3rd David Finney Lecture on Object Data Driven Discovery.

2nd David Finney Lecture (2018)

Prof. David Dunson presented the 2nd David Finney Lecture on Studying Variation in Human Brain Connectomes: Impact of Substance Use and Education.

1st David Finney Lecture (2017)

Prof. Sheila Bird presented the first David Finney Lecture on Biostatistician Behind Bars: Design, Linkage, and Vigilance.