Dr Erica Thompson is a Senior Policy Fellow in Ethics of Modelling and Simulation at the LSE Data Science Institute.
Erica's research is centred around the use of mathematical and computational models to inform real-world decision-making. She has worked on mathematical and statistical methods for model evaluation and interpretation as well as on fundamental philosophical questions about what model outputs really mean and how we use models in tandem with expert judgement. She has a particular interest in real-world applications of modelling methods, having worked with humanitarian NGOs, insurance practitioners, UK government departments and other partners. She is presently writing a popular book about the uses and pitfalls of models to inform decisions.
Erica gained a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London on statistical and dynamical modelling of North Atlantic storms under climate change.
Erica's programme of research at the Data Science Institute focuses on the Ethics of Modelling and Simulation. This encompasses ethical and methodological questions about the development and use of models in a range of policy-relevant contexts including climate change, public health, and economics. Who decides what kind of models to make? What are the consequences of those decisions, and how can we ensure that we are making supportable inferences about the real world, from our model outputs? In short, how can we do good science with models?