Social Sciences Academy to welcome ACEMS Deputy Director as a new Fellow


ACEMS Deputy Director Kerrie Mengersen

The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) elects ACEMS Deputy Kerrie Mengersen as one of its new Fellows in 2018.

Kerrie is one of 36 new Fellows being awarded for what the Academy calls their distinguished contributions to their disciplines and to society.

“It is such an honour and an opportunity to represent my profession within a community of such esteemed and talented people from such diverse professions,” said Kerrie.

Kerrie is a Distinguished Professor of Statistics at QUT and also a Chief Investigator with ACEMS. Her pioneering research in Bayesian statistics has been used to tackle real-world problems involving the environment, animal conservation, health and disease management, and business.

“Statistics is more than just counting or summarizing. It is a way of using data to better understand our world. It is a rich and fulfilling profession that intersects mathematics, practical applications and communication,” said Kerrie.

The 36 Fellows elected by ASSA represent a wide range of disciplines including economics, political science, history, law, linguistics, indigenous studies and race relations. Kerrie hopes her election will show others outside of the mathematical sciences the importance of statistics in so many areas. 

“Maths and stats pervade almost every area of our lives, from science to business to our social systems. It is a strong research area in its own right, and also a critical enabler for other professions. The Academy recognises that,” said Kerrie.

This is the second major honour for Kerrie this year. In May, The Australian Academy of Science also named her as a 2018 Fellow.

“This prestigious honour is a testament to Kerrie's outstanding research contributions and the impact that they have had in the Social Sciences over a sustained period. Kerrie is one of the very few people to be elected as a Fellow to both the ASSA and the Australian Academy of Science,” said Prof Troy Farrell, QUT’s Head of School for the Mathematical Sciences.

In addition to the attention it brings to statistics, Kerrie is proud to be one of 19 women that make up the group of 36 new ASSA Fellows.

“There are so many outstanding women in such a wide range of Science and Social Science professions. It is wonderful to see that they are being recognized by the Academy,” said Kerrie.

The New Fellows of the Academy will be formally welcomed and inducted at the Academy’s General Meeting and Annual Symposium to be held in Canberra from 12-14 November 2018.