Nightingale seminars

Nightingale lecture series

In recognition of the contributions by Florence Nightingale, FIRE statistical consulting for young researchers at UGent, and FLAMES, Flanders Training Network for Methodology and Statistics, organize, with support from the Center for Statistics, the Florence Nightingale lecture series showcasing the impact of modern statistical methodology on exciting new discoveries.

Through the series, scientists highlight recent controversies in their fields and, in discussion with expert statisticians, explain the evidence supporting the findings. The goal? Bringing together researchers and methodologists, and showing how an understanding of research methodology used in other fields can benefit their own work!

Is our criminal justice system effective in preventing recidivism?

Dr. Christophe Vandeviver, Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP), Ghent University

Dr. Alina Nicolaie, department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics, Ghent University

Thursday, November 19, 2015, 12h

Rode Zaal, Binnenkoer Universiteitsstraat 4, Wing C5, 2nd floor, Universiteitsstraat 4, 9000 Gent, Belgium


Is our criminal justice system effective in preventing recidivism? A discussion of the statistical methods and practical conclusions of a recent study.

Firmly rooted in our criminal justice system is the belief that offenders must be punished in order to force them into reconsidering their criminal career. However, the effectiveness of punishment has often been debated. One way to measure this effectiveness is by looking at recidivism, the act of committing unlawful behavior after having earlier been sentenced for another unlawful act. Unlike most other European countries, Belgium does not compile national recidivism statistics. Now, for the first time, the prevalence of recidivism in Belgium has been estimated using a large official data set by the National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology. Several techniques from survival analysis, for instance the proportional hazards model, were applied. The results establish that approximately 6 out of 10 criminals reoffend, and provide insight into a number of offender features and criminal justice characteristics that may serve as indicators of future offending. In this Nightingale presentation, we will present and discuss the findings of this study from a criminological and a statistical viewpoint.

Is sitting the new smoking?

Dr. Katrien De Cocker, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University

Prof. Dr. Els Goetghebeur, department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics, Ghent University

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 12h

Room Museum of the History of Science Building S30, Campus De Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent, Belgium


Join a discussion by Dr. Katrien De Cocker and Prof. Dr. Els Goetghebeur of how the essential tools of study design uncover the hidden risks of your own desk job, from heart disease and diabetes to genetic mutations, and how you can apply these tools to boost your own research.

Remember the days with no escape from cigarette smoke? Today it is the `sitting disease’ that is hitting us in epidemic proportions: scientists are examining the deadly threat of sitting too much! Should we add warning labels to chairs? Should the university introduce a mandatory daily hour on a treadmill desk or deskcycle?

The New York Times reports on a study that saw part of the cellular ageing process reversed by replacing sitting time with standing time. Scientists frown in disbelief at the thought of DNA rejuvenation and lengthening telomeres. We ask ourselves where is the evidence?