Manchester Statistical Society



A forum for the discussion of social and economic issues.

Are you interested in social and economic issues? In listening to expert speakers and having the opportunity to question them?
If so, the Manchester Statistical Society could suit you! We hold regular meetings, from autumn through to spring, on topical issues of concern to contemporary society and addressed by experts in the field. We cover a range of subjects, including health, education, transport, the economy, industry and finance, discussed free from party politics. Our meetings are not of a technical statistical nature but are designed for a generalist audience. New members are very welcome.
The meetings take place at 5.30pm in the Cathedral Visitors Centre, 10 Cateaton Street, Manchester M3 1SQ.
Members can, if they wish, stay for dinner with the speaker, which provides a further opportunity for informal discussion.
We publish written versions of the talks in the Society's Transactions, which are issued free to members.
The Society was founded in 1833 by a group of Mancunians concerned about the state of society as urbanization and industrialization developed, and they carried out research with a view to influencing government policy. It is one of the oldest statistical societies in the world. Find out more about our history here. Our meetings today continue the theme of discussing social and economic issues.
We also operate the Campion Fund, which has funding available to support small research projects.
For further information about the Society, please use the tabs above.
Our next meeting
The next meeting of the Society is the first meeting of the 2015/16 session, at 5.30pm on Tuesday 13 October. It is at the Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre, 10 Cateaton Street, Manchester, M3 1SQ.
For a map, see here
Our speaker is Rod Rhodes, Professor of Government at Southampton University and at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
Professor Rhodes' topic is "Being there: observing governing elites".
Professor Rhodes provides stories from his fieldwork on the everyday life of ministers and permanent secretaries in British central government departments and on the Chiefs of Staff (CoS) of Australian Prime Ministers and uses these to assess the pros and cons of observational fieldwork.
In Britain he shadowed ministers and senior civil servants in three British government departments and seeks to answer the question 'how do things work around here?' He describes the governing elites through their eyes, and explores how their beliefs and practices create meaning in politics, policy making and public service delivery.
He also analyses the job of the CoS to the Australian Prime Minister based on two focus groups with former CoS and extended elite interviews with recent incumbents. How have CoS navigated the murky networks and pressures of life at the centre of government?
In conclusion, Professor Rhodes will highlight a number of strengths of this type of fieldwork.
Further information about the presentation is on the  Meetings page.
For enquiries about the meeting, please email
For enquiries about membership of the Society, please email