Gian Luca Di Tanna - Adventures in Statistical-land…and abroad
23 November 2022 - 23 November 2022
Room C2.09, 2nd floor Sector C, East Campus USI-SUPSI
“All models are wrong, but some are useful”, I clearly remember the moment when I first heard this well-known aphorism by George Box stepping into the Faculty of Statistical Sciences at the Sapienza University of Rome in 1993. It became a sort of mantra, and my challenge became to prove it wrong: some models “must be” correct and give – as a map – a reliable idea of the territory although they cannot represent every single detail. During this talk I will show my successes and inevitably my failures in many statistical collaborations and projects that I have accumulated since then: in particular, I will present an overview of some of my activities around statistical methods and applications in randomized clinical trials, observational studies and my view that no perfect analysis and/or modelling approach can rescue a badly designed study. I will also discuss about the current infodemic of systematic (and unfortunately not so systematic) reviews and meta-analyses and how the Bayesian approach to this type of apparently simple and low-dimensional datasets can avoid misleading medical conclusions. Lastly, emphasis will be given to the multidisciplinarity of Health Technology Assessment and how the evidence-generation loop to inform medical intervention’ evaluations is a natural fit to the Bayesian paradigm that today’s posterior is tomorrow’s prior.

The speaker

Gian Luca Di Tanna is Professor of Applied Statistics and Data Science at IDSIA/Department of Innovative Technologies at SUPSI which he joined in September 2022. Until August 2022 he was the Head of the BioStatistics and Data Science Division and co-Head of the Meta-Research & Evidence Synthesis Unit at The George Institute for Global Health and Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Honours in Statistical Sciences in 2000, he has then been obtained an MSc in Decision Analyses and an MPhil/PhD in Medical Statistics. In 2012 he has been awarded a PhD in Health Economics for his contributions to the use of Network Meta-Analysis to inform economic evaluations. He held academic appointments (Sapienza University of Rome, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary University of London) and had industry & public sector experiences (Amgen, Italian Agency for health services research, Emilia-Romagna Health Authority). His main interests are at the crossroads between applied statistical methods (better if Bayesian), health economics and meta-analyses. He is the Chair of the Statistical Methods for Health Economics and Outcome Research Special Interest Group of the ISPOR - International Society For Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Research and Statistical Editor of two Cochrane groups and The Lancet journals. Usually his weekends are ruined by the poor performances of AS Roma and Ferrari partially mitigated by gentle family walks around Cureglia where he now lives.