Roy Geary: Innovator in Official Statistics and Econometrics
Colm Harmon, Denis Conniffe
UCD Geary Institute and School of Economics, Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Robert (Roy) Charles Geary (April 11, 1896 – February 8, 1983) was an Irish statistician and founder of both the Central Statistics Office and the Economic and Social Research Institute. He held degrees from University College Dublin and the Sorbonne. He lectured in mathematics at University College Southampton (1922-23) and in applied economics at Cambridge University (1946-47). Despite his academic output he never held an academic appointment in Ireland and the vast bulk of his career was spent in a series of public service appointments – notably as the founding director of the Central Statistics Office (Ireland) (in 1949), and as head of the National Accounts Branch of the United Nations in New York from 1957 to 1960. He was the founding director of the Economic and Social Research Institute (in 1960) where he stayed till his retirement in 1966, although he worked right until his death in 1983. He was a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. In 1981, he won the Boyle Medal, the highest honor available to Irish science. The uniqueness of Geary rests with his wide and profound contributions to a number of fields of study – economics, mathematics and statistics – and in later life he began to work on what we now see as research which integrates biological and socio-economic data.

Keywords: Robert Charles Geary

Biography: Colm Harmon is Professor of Economics at University College Dublin and Director of the UCD Geary Institute, named in honor of Roy Geary. His research interests are in applied microeconometrics, with particular interests in labor and health economics. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Labour Research (IZA) in Bonn.