Vision No. 5 September 2007

Environment and Climate Change

VSNi were lucky enough to attend and be involved with the TIES 07 conference, held in beautiful Mikulov in the Czech Republic from 15 – 19th August. It was an interesting event for VSNi, and here’s a brief interview with the VSNi attendees (Stewart Andrews and Darren Murray) about it:

Why did VSNi attend TIES?

Stewart: The environment and climate change is an issue for all of us, and as human beings we have a moral obligation to investigate and understand changes that may be occurring to our environment and to assist in stopping, or alleviating the devastating effects to the globe.

What did VSNi do at the conference?

Stewart: Darren, our principle developer specializing in ecology and the environment, presented a talk on GenStat and the environment in the opening session of the conference; and I was delighted to be invited to chair the session on Software for Environmental Data Processing. As with many other sessions during the conference, we both found that the questions and comments stimulated from the presentations and afterwards were extremely interesting and valuable in understanding how we can help our colleagues in these fields in the future.

Who goes to TIES?

Stewart: Statisticians, modellers, bioscientists, environmental scientists, lecturers, students – a whole range of people who are interested in this area. And it was great to meet up again with our users in these fields. It’s always fascinating to see GenStat being used in real life issues and to understand more of what and how it works in different subjects.

So was GenStat the only tool being used?

Darren: Wherever you look you always come across R, but as people are aware GenStat can run R scripts, allowing researchers to use both products in tandem; similar to WinBUGS added in the 10th edition.

What happens next?

Darren: We made many new friends and started new collaborations, which we are really looking forward to working with and on. These collaborations will inevitably lead us to expand GenStat’s tools to aid all our users. And, there is always the TIES conference in Vancouver next year, which we hope to be deeply involved in so we can continue our collaboration with all the people we met this year.

If you are working in environmental research or related topic, VSNi would be very interested to hear about what you’re working on, methods you are using, software used, and how you feel the current software available is answering your needs. Please email us with your comments and questions.

Out and about with VSNi

VSNi will be attending a number of events in the coming months – to find out where we will be click here. Professor Roger Payne, VSNi’s CSTO is an invited speaker at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting in New Orleans from 4-8th November for more information check the website. Roger will be speaking on “Fisher, Yates, Nelder and Thompson: The Development of Statistical Design and Analysis Concepts at Rothamsted” and describes how agricultural research at Rothamsted has provided a stimulus to statistical research – for the benefit of biologists everywhere.

We’re also delighted to announce the European GenStat Applied Statistics Conference at AFBI, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 21st- 22nd July 2008, for more details see the website.

If you are involved in organising an event which may be of interest to VSNi and our users please let us know by emailing us.

Latest training courses

Don’t forget to check out the latest VSNi training course schedule to find out when your nearest course will be held, or email us to request a specific event.We’re pleased to announce a new course being held on 29th November in Hemel Hempstead on using REML within GenStat. The course is designed to introduce you to REML in GenStat, and give you the underlying knowledge and confidence to use it correctly and effectively. It shows how the REML menus guide you through even very complicated analyses, and also explains the REML commands so that you can program any non-standard analyses that you need.

Practical experience of ordinary analysis of variance is necessary, but there will be no need for any complicated maths. On each day the lectures will be interspersed with practicals to introduce you to real-life data sets and illustrate the methods. The practicals also give you the opportunity to discuss your own problems and investigations with the presenter.

For more details on this REML course, or to book a place and information visit the current course schedule, or contact the VSNi training team.

VSNi photography competition

Fancy yourself as a photographer? Well, don’t forget now is your chance to show us your skills, and to show us how you use our software. The VSNi photo competition is now open. For a chance to win £150 worth of Amazon vouchers, send us your photos via the online competition form. For full terms and conditions see terms.

GenStat 10th edition

GenStat 10 is now available for download or email us. This latest update covers new statistical functionality, improved graphical capabilities and current compatibility with Excel 2007 ® and Windows Vista ®. The new features, menus and extensions to existing functionality further broaden and develop the level of statistical and data analysis tools within GenStat. Visit the VSNi website for a full list of new features.

“GenStat 10th Edition, cements its position as tool of choice for bioscientists the world over,” says Roger Payne, CSTO VSNi, “this latest edition will be of interest to existing and new users across the wide biological science spectrum. This is evidence of our commitment to ensure scientists have access to the best in statistical analysis.”

Existing customers with support contracts should have received an upgrade CD, if you haven’t received this please email us.


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