Section chartered in 1992


Charter revised 2015



The name of this organization is the Section On Bayesian Statistical Science (SBSS) (hereafter called the “Section”) of the American Statistical Association (hereafter called the “Association”).



The broad objectives of the Section are: to encourage research on theory and methods of statistical inference and decision making associated with Bayes' theorem, and to encourage the application and proper use of Bayesian procedures in the behavioral, biological, managerial, engineering, environmental, legal, medical, pharmaceutical, physical, and social sciences.

The objectives of the Section include:

1. Foster understanding and proper use of methods of Bayesian statistics within the statistical community.

2. Encourage the teaching of Bayesian inference and decision theory and methods in colleges and universities, as well as in secondary schools.

3. Provide a focus within the Association for dialogues relating to issues associated with Bayesian statistics.

4. Build cooperative relationships on behalf of the Association with other professional organizations that have interests in Bayesian statistics, such as the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.

In pursuing these objectives, the Section will work closely and coordinate with other sections of the Association whenever appropriate.



In support of the Section’s objectives, the Section will perform the following functions:

1. Organizing sessions on Bayesian statistics at meetings of the Association.

2. Planning sessions at meetings of other professional societies.

3. Inviting other professional societies to sponsor sessions at meetings of the Association as part of the Association's Bayesian statistics program.

4. Producing non-journal publications on Bayesian statistics.

5. Organizing short courses and tutorials on Bayesian statistics.

6. Developing plans for education in Bayesian statistics.

7. Organizing meetings, seminars, and conferences on the theory and application of Bayesian methods in statistics and related fields.

8. Establishing and maintaining liaison and cooperation with other scientific and professional organizations.

9. Establishing and maintaining liaison and cooperation with other sections of the Association.

10. Aiding the general development of Bayesian statistics, statistics, and the Association.

11. Serving as a resource for public and private groups or agencies with interests in the field of Bayesian statistics.

12. Recognizing, by awards or other means of public demonstration, excellence in developing theory, or in applying Bayesian statistics that have outstanding value to the profession and/or to the public.



Members of the Association may join the Section by paying Section dues.

Section dues are set by the officers of the Section and may be altered annually in consultation with the Treasurer of the Association.

The membership year for each member of the Section shall coincide with that member’s membership year within the Association.



Section officers must be members of the Section.

The officers of the Section include the Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and Representative(s) to the Council of Sections. The number of Representative(s) to the Council of Sections is determined by the Association’s Council of Sections Governing Board.  These are all voting members of the Section; these individuals may vote on financial matters and official business of the Section. Other officers of the Section include the Past Chair, Publications Officer, Program Chair, and Program Chair-Elect. These officers of the Section must be elected and have voting rights on the SBSS Executive Committee.

The term of the Chair-Elect shall be one year, and the Chair-Elect shall automatically succeed the Chair on January 1 of each year. The terms of Representative(s) to the Council of Sections are prescribed in the Charter of the Council of Sections. The term of the Secretary/Treasurer shall be two years. The term of Past-Chair is one year. The term of the Publications Officer shall be two years. The term of the Program Chair-Elect shall be one year, and the Program Chair-Elect shall automatically succeed the Program Chair on January 1 of each year. No officer shall be eligible for immediate re-election to the same office except Secretary/Treasurer.

An individual may hold no more than one office within the Section at a given time.

If the office of Chair becomes vacant, the Past Chair shall become the Chair, with the term extending through the following year.  Vacancies in other offices shall be filled by appointment by the Chair.



1. Types of Committees

The Committees of the Section shall consist of the Executive Committee, Standing Committees as provided by this Charter, and Standing and Current Committees as established by the officers of the Section. Current Committees may be established in order to satisfy a particular need or interest of the Section.

A quorum of 50% of voting members must be present at official meetings for all committees, and an opportunity for discussion of matters requiring vote must be allowed. Formal motions and financial disbursements must occur during official meetings of committees.


2. Membership

The term of membership on Standing and Current Committees, if not otherwise specified in this Charter or in the SBSS Responsibilities and Procedures document, shall be three years. Initial terms for new committees shall be set by the Chair of the Section for one, two, or three years so that, as nearly as possible, one-third of the members shall be appointed each year. Each committee shall be governed by a chair appointed by the Chair of the Section, unless otherwise specified in this Charter. All members of Standing Committees and the chairs of Current Committees shall be members of the Section.


3. Standing Committees

Each Standing Committee must submit an annual report to the Chair of the Section.

a. Nominations Committee

The Section's immediate past Chair shall serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee. The current Chair and the Chair-elect shall also serve on this committee. Each year the Nominations Committee shall submit to the Secretary of the Association and the Section Chair at least two nominations for each position to be filled. The Association's general deadline for submission of nominations shall apply. In addition, any Section member nominated by petition of at least 25 members of the Section shall also appear on the annual ballot, provided that the petition is presented to the Section Chair and to the Secretary of the Association within the Association’s balloting timelines. Balloting shall be carried out as part of the Association's annual election for Association and Section officers.


b. Committee to Nominate Fellows 

The Committee to Nominate Fellows shall consist of three members appointed by the Section Chair. Each year, the Committee shall identify members of the section who would be suitable nominees for the honor of fellow of the American Statistical Association, as described in the by-laws of the Association. Committee members coordinate the preparation and submission of the nominations. The committee assists in locating a sponsor for each, and assures that the necessary documentation is prepared and transmitted to the ASA Committee on Fellows.  The only report requested from the section's committee on fellows is a statement that its responsibility has been discharged.

Guidelines for nomination preparation are contained at These guidelines amplify the instructions provided by the ASA Committee on Fellows.



The annual business meeting of the Section shall be held in connection with the annual meeting of the Association and shall be announced in advance, preferably in the printed program for that meeting. A year in review of activities, plans for future activities, and a Treasurer’s Report will be presented at this meeting. A quorum of 50% of voting Section officers must be present at the official annual business meeting. Additional meetings shall be held at the call of the Chair of by vote of two-thirds of the Executive Committee.

Section business may also be conducted with the Section membership by mail or electronic communication.



Amendments to this charter may be proposed by the officers of the Section, or via a petition signed by at least 25 members of the membership of the Section and submitted to the Section Chair. The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the members of the Section for a vote at the time of the Association’s annual election. The Executive Committee may also decide upon the final wording of a proposed amendment, as long as such wording is consistent with the original intent of the petition.


If approved by a majority of members voting, the amendment shall take effect immediately, or at such other time as specified in the amendment. Copies of approved amendments shall be filed with the Secretary of the Council of Sections and with the Secretary of the Association.