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Professor Kevin McConway

Profile summary

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Professional biography

Kevin McConway worked full-time at the Open University from 1980 to 2016, taking part in teaching and research projects in ecology, biology, health, business, economics and music as well as directly in statistics. He also spent five years as an associate dean. Since retiring and having Emeritus status, he still has active interests in the way statistics is represented in the media, and in some applications in science and technology. He was the main academic adviser on the BBC Radio 4 series More or Less (an OU co-production) from 1995 to 2015, and his publication list includes The Big Issue and New Scientist as well as more conventional academic journals.

Kevin is originally from rural Northumberland, studied at Cambridge, University College London (UCL) and the OU, and previously worked at Westfield College, London and in local government in north-east England. He was Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the Royal Statistical Society from 2012 to 2015.

Research interests

Bayesian methods, applications of statistics in the life sciences (particularly ecology, evolution and clinical medicine), statistics in the media.

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Bayesian Statistics Research GroupGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Ecology and Evolution Research GroupGroupFaculty of Science


Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure and Child IQ (2020-02-01)
Ritchie, Stuart J.; Morris, Alexander J. and McConway, Kevin
JAMA Pediatrics, 174(2) (p 213)

Cancer and five chemicals: why we still don't know whether there is a risk to humans (2020-01-01)
McConway, Kevin
The Lancet Oncology, 21(1) (pp. 20-21)

Melatonin Levels and Low‐Frequency Magnetic Fields in Humans and Rats: New Insights From a Bayesian Logistic Regression (2019-12)
Bouché, Nicolas F. and McConway, Kevin
Bioelectromagnetics, 40(8) (pp. 539-552)

[Book review] Bayesian Data Analysis for Animal Scientists: the Basics (2019-10-25)
McConway, Kevin
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 182(4) (pp. 1644-1644)

Cancer and night shift work: what we still do not know and why (2019-08)
McConway, Kevin
The Lancet Oncology, 20(8) (pp. 1051-1052)

Statistics and the media: A statistician’s view (2016-01-01)
McConway, Kevin
Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 17(1) (pp. 49-65)

Estimating seroprevalence of vaccine-preventable infections: is it worth standardizing the serological outcomes to adjust for different assays and laboratories? (2015-08)
Kafatos, G.; Andrews, N.; McConway, K.; Anastassopoulou, C.; Barbara, C.; De Ory, F.; Johansen, K.; Mossong, J.; Prosenc, K.; Vranckx, R.; Nardone, A.; Pebody, R. and Farrington, P.
Epidemiology and Infection, 143(11) (pp. 2269-2278)

Crowdsourcing the identification of organisms: a case-study of iSpot (2015-02-02)
Silvertown, Jonathan; Harvey, Martin; Greenwood, Richard; Dodd, Michael; Rosewell, Jonathan; Rebelo, Tony; Ansine, Janice and McConway, Kevin
ZooKeys, 480 (pp. 125-146)

Regression models for censored serological data (2013-01)
Kafatos, George; Andrews, Nick; McConway, Kevin J. and Farrington, Paddy
Journal of Medical Microbiology, 62(1) (pp. 93-100)

The results of real time brachytherapy for the management of low and intermediate risk prostate cancer in patients with prostate volumes up to 100 ml (2012-12)
Dallas, Nicola L.; Malone, Peter R.; Jones, Adam; Doggart, Andrew J.; McConway, Kevin J. and Rogers, Paul B.
BJU International, 110(3) (pp. 383-390)

Do niche-structured plant communities exhibit phylogenetic conservatism? A test case in an endemic clade (2012-11)
Araya, Yoseph N.; Silvertown, Jonathan; Gowing, David J.; McConway, Kevin J.; Linder, H. P. and Midgley, Guy
Journal of Ecology, 100(6) (pp. 1434-1439)

Evolution MegaLab: a case study in citizen science methods (2012-04)
Worthington, Jenny; Silvertown, Jonathan; Cook, Laurence; Cameron, Robert; Dodd, Mike; Greenwood, Richard; McConway, Kevin and Skelton, Peter
Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 3(2) (pp. 303-309)

Citizen science reveals unexpected continental-scale evolutionary change in a model organism (2011-04-27)
Silvertown, Jonathan; Cook, Laurence; Cameron, Robert; Dodd, Michael; McConway, Kevin; Worthington, Jennifer; Skelton, Peter; Anton, Christian; Bossdorf, Oliver; Baur, Bruno; Schilthuizen, Menno; Fontaine, Benoît; Sattmann, Helmut; Bertorelle, Giorgio; Correira, Maria; Oliveira, Cristina; Pokryszko, Beata; Ozgo, Malgorzata; Stalažs, Arturs; Gill, Eoin; Rammul, Üllar; Sólymos, Péter; Féher, Soltan and Juan, Xavier
PLoS ONE, 6, Article e18927(4)

A fundamental, eco-hydrological basis for niche segregation in plant communities (2011-01)
Araya, Yoseph N.; Silvertown, Jonathan; Gowing, David J.; McConway, Kevin J.; Linder, H. Peter and Midgley, Guy
New Phytologist, 189(1) (pp. 253-258)

Variation in δ13C among species and sexes in the family Restionaceae along a fine-scale hydrological gradient (2010-11)
Araya, Yoseph; Silvertown, Jonathan; Gowing, David; McConway, Kevin; Linder, Peter and Midgley, Guy
Austral Ecology, 35(7) (pp. 818-824)

Prediction of extinction in plants: interaction of extrinsic threats and life history traits (2007)
Fréville, Hélène; McConway, Kevin; Dodd, Mike and Silvertown, Jonathan
Ecology, 88(10) (pp. 2662-2672)

Phylogeny and the hierarchical organization of plant diversity (2006-07)
Silvertown, Jonathan; Dodd, Mike; Gowing, David; Lawson, Clare and McConway, Kevin
Ecology, 87(7, Sup) (S39-S49)

Absence of phylogenetic signal in the niche structure of meadow plant communities (2006-01-07)
Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin; Gowing, David; Dodd, Mike; Fay, Michael F.; Joseph, Jeffrey A. and Dolphin, Konrad
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1582) (pp. 39-44)

A Likelihood-based method for testing for non-stochastic variation of diversification rates in Phylogenies (2004-01)
McConway, Kevin J. and Sims, Hallie J.
Evolution, 58(1) (pp. 12-23)

A likelihood-based method for testing for nonstochastic variation of diversification rates in phylogenies (2004-01)
McConway, Kevin and Sims, Hallie J.
Evolution, 58(1) (pp. 12-23)

Successful amplification of rice chloroplast microsatellites from century-old grass samples from the Park Grass Experiment (2003-09)
Biss, Pamela; Freeland, Joanna; Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin and Lutman, Peter
Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 21(3) (pp. 249-257)

Nonstochastic variation of species-level diversification rates within angiosperms (2003-03)
Sims, Hallie J. and McConway, Kevin J.
Evolution, 57(3) (pp. 460-479)

Ecological and genetic correlates of long-term population trends in the Park Grass Experiment (2002-10)
Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin J.; Hughes, Zoe; Biss, Pamela; Macnair, Mark and Lutman, Peter
American Naturalist, 160(4) (pp. 409-420)

"Flexibility" as a trait and methodological issues in species diversity variation among angiosperm families (2000-06)
Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin J.; Dodd, Mike and Chase, Mark W.
Evolution, 54(3) (pp. 1066-1068)

A discrete variable chain graph for applicants for credit (1999)
Stanghellini, E.; McConway, K. J. and Hand, D. J.
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series C (Applied Statistics), 48(2) (pp. 239-251)

Opinion: Does "publication bias" lead to biased science? (1997-05)
Silvertown, Jonathan and McConway, Kevin J.
Oikos, 79(1) (pp. 167-168)

Graphical models of applicants for credit (1997)
Hand, D. J.; McConway, K. J. and Stanghellini, E.
IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied in Business & Industry, 8(2) (pp. 143-155)

Species diversity and stability in grassland (1995-07)
Silvertown, Jonathan; Dodd, Mike; McConway, Kevin; Crawley, Mick and Potts, Jaqueline
Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 10(7) (pp. 287-288)

community stability - a 60-year record of trends and outbreaks in the occurrence of species in the park grass experiment (1995-04)
Dodd, Mike; Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin; Potts, Jacqueline and Crawley, Mick
Journal of Ecology, 83(2) (pp. 277-285)

Invited discussion of Dawid et al 'Coherent combination of experts' opinions' (1995)
McConway, Kevin
TEST, 4(2) (pp. 294-296)

Rainfall, biomass variation, and community composition in the Park Grass Experiment (1994-12)
Silvertown, Jonathan; Dodd, Mike E.; McConway, Kevin; Potts, Jacqueline and Crawley, Mick
Ecology, 75(8) (pp. 2430-2437)

Stability in the plant communities of the Park Grass Experiment: the relationships between species richness, soil pH and biomass variability (1994-10-29)
Dodd, Mike E.; Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin; Potts, Jacqueline and Crawley, Mick
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 346(1316) (pp. 185-193)

Application of the British national vegetation classification to the communities of the park grass experiment through time (1994)
Dodd, Mike; Silvertown, Jonathan; McConway, Kevin; Potts, Jacqueline and Crawley, Mick
Folia Geobotanica, 29(3) (pp. 321-334)

A demographic interpretation of Grime's triangle (1992)
Silvertown, J.; Franco, M. and McConway, K.
Functional Ecology, 6(2) (pp. 130-136)

Allocating the weights in the linear opinion pool (1990-01)
Genest, Christian and McConway, Kevin
Journal of Forecasting, 9(1) (pp. 53-73)

Elements of Statistics (1995)
Daly, F.; Hand, D. J.; Jones, M.C; Lunn, A. D. and McConway, K. J.
ISBN : 9780201422788 | Publisher : Addison-Wesley Publishing Company | Published : Wokingham

A handbook of small data sets (1993-11-01)
Hand, David J.; Daly, Fergus; McConway, K.; Lunn, D. and Ostrowski, E.
ISBN : 9780412399206 | Publisher : Chapman and Hall | Published : London, U.K.

Lindley, Dennis (2017-02-15)
McConway, Kevin
In: Balakrishnan, N.; Colton, T.; Everitt, B.; Piegorsch, W.; Ruggeri, F. and Teugels, J. eds. Wiley StatsRef: Statistics Reference Online
Publisher : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Evolution of hydrological niches in Restionaceae: a project update (2008)
Araya, Y. N.; Silvertown, J.; Linder, H. P; Gowing, D. J.; Midgley, G. F. and McConway, K. J.
In: Mucina, L.; Kalwij, J. M.; Smith, V. R.; Chytry, M.; White, P. S.; Cilliers, S. S.; Pillar, V. D.; Zobel, M. and Sun, I-Fang eds. Frontiers of Vegetation Science - An evolutionary angle (pp. 15-16)
ISBN : 9780958476690 | Publisher : Keith Phillips Images | Published : Somerset West

Analysing numerical data (2001-03)
McConway, Kevin
In: McConway, Kevin and Davey, Basio eds. Studying health and disease (pp. 96-119)
ISBN : 9780335208357 | Publisher : Open University Press | Published : Buckingham, UK

Some basic ideas of demography and epidemiology (2001-03)
McConway, Kevin
In: McConway, Kevin and Davey, Basiro eds. Studying health and disease, revised edition (pp. 120-145)
ISBN : 9780335208357 | Publisher : Open University Press | Published : Buckingham, UK

The web of explanations (2001-03)
McConway, Kevin
In: McConway, Kevin and Davey, Basiro eds. Studying health and disease (pp. 187-193)
ISBN : 9780335208357 | Publisher : Open Univeristy Press | Published : Buckingham, UK

Investigating causes and evaluating treatments (1994)
McConway, Kevin
In: McConway, Kevin and Davey, Basiro eds. Studying Health and Disease (2nd edition) (pp. 145-166)
ISBN : 9780335192526 | Publisher : Open University Press | Published : Buckingham, U.K.

The number of subjects in animal behaviour experiments: is Still still right? (1992)
McConway, Kevin
In: Dawkins, Marian Stamp and Gosling, Morris eds. Ethics in research on animal behaviour (pp. 35-38)
ISBN : 122071506 | Publisher : Academic Press for the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour and the Animal Behavior Society | Published : London, U.K.

Studying Health and Disease (colour-enhanced second edition) (2001-03-01)
McConway, Kevin and Davey, Basiro eds.
ISBN : 9780335208357 | Publisher : Open University Press/McGraw Hill Education | Published : Buckingham, UK

Sixteen years of statistics at a distance (1990)
McConway, Kevin
In : Third International Conference on Teaching Statistics (19-24 Aug 1990, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Links between Governance, Incentives and Outcomes: a Review of the Literature (2005-03)
Davies, Celia; Anand, Paul; Artigas, Lidia; Holloway, Jacky; McConway, Kevin; Newman, Janet; Storey, John and Thompson, Grahame
National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D (NCCSDO), London, UK.