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Speaker(s): Professor Leonard Smith, Dr Trevor Maynard, Professor Robert Rosner
Chair: Professor Sir Brian Hoskins

Recorded on 15 March 2017 at Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Science gives us predictions and probabilities that are sometimes remarkably accurate. And sometimes not. Our ability to use scientific information in decision-making is explored in a variety of real world contexts, from monitoring the risks jellyfish pose to nuclear power stations, to framing policy on carbon emissions to avoid dangerous climate change. Interestingly, it turns out that scientific evidence can be both useful in decision-making and fundamentally misleading from a mathematical point of view. Is the challenge in the maths? In the science? Or with the decision- makers?

Leonard Smith is Director of the LSE Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS). His research focuses on real world challenges to academic concepts of nonlinear dynamical systems and predictability. This includes the role of probability in decision support, and the implications uncertainty, ambiguity and ignorance hold when relating mathematical results to reality. He is a Selby Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and received the Royal Meteorological Society's Fitzroy Prize for his contributions to applied meteorology. He is author of Chaos: A Very Short Introduction (2007). He received his PhD (Physics) from Columbia University. Currently a Professor of Statistics at LSE, he has also been a Senior Research Fellow (mathematics) of Pembroke College, Oxford since 1992.

Trevor Maynard is Head of Innovation at Lloyd’s of London.

Robert Rosner is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, at the University of Chicago.

Brian Hoskins is Chair of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College, and Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

The Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS) (@CATS_LSE) was established in 2000 and is based within the Department of Statistics at LSE. The School has a long and distinguished history in time series analysis and as part of its strategic plan has invested heavily in developing a world-class centre of excellence in this area.

LSE Works is a series of public lectures, that will showcase some of the latest research by LSE's academic departments and research centres. In each session, LSE academics will present key research findings, demonstrating where appropriate the implications of their studies for public policy. A list of all the LSE Works lectures can be viewed at LSE Works.

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