Karen Ames Memorial Lecture on Applied Mathematics The Role of Statistics in Science and Society Dr. Lynne BillardUniversity Professor Department of StatisticsUniversity of Georgia 30 November 2012 Abstract Whatever our interests may be, whether that be the social sciences, medical sciences, history, physical sciences, mathematical sciences, and so on, statistics and statisticians have a role to play in helping us decipher the information pertaining to those interests that surround us daily. Against the backdrop of a brief historical view of its applications, we illustrate the role of statistics in a variety of situations, including cases where the obvious technique is not necessarily the best analysis to employ. Biographical Sketch Dr. Lynne Billard is University Professor of the University of Georgia. She has over 200 publications mostly in the major journals including 8 books edited/co-edited, in sequential analysis, AIDS and epidemics, time series, inference, and symbolic data, with applications in agriculture, biology, epidemiology, and social sciences, and has been awarded ASA Best Application Paper Award. Dr. Lynne Billard has been accorded many honors and awards including 1999 Wilks Award, 2003 ASA Founders Award, 2008 COPPS Scott Award, and 2011 Norwood Award. Dr. Billard has served on many US national committees including the Advisory Committee for DMS NSF, Panel on AIDS and Panel on Microsimulation Modeling of Social Welfare Policy for the National Research Council, and numerous review panels for NIH and NSF as well as the UK Research Council. She has also served on the National Academy of Sciences' Board of Mathematical Sciences, on the US Secretary of Commerce Census 2000 Advisory Committee, and as Chair Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences. Dr. Billard is an elected Fellow of The American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.