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Dr Erica Thompson awarded new UKRI fellowship

A significant milestone for the Data Science Institute

A new generation of thought leaders is required as LSE builds on our leading position in the social sciences. Erica’s cross-disciplinary background and policy experience mean that she is ideally positioned to lead research bridging the gap between mathematical and social sciences.

Professor Susana Mourato

The LSE Data Science Institute is very proud to announce that Senior Policy Fellow in Ethics of Modelling and Simulation Dr Erica Thompson has been awarded a new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship.

Future Leaders Fellowships support talented people in universities, businesses, and other research and innovation environments.

The LSE Data Science Institute will form a partnership with UKRI as a host organisation, in what represents a significant moment for the Institute in its role as institutional cornerstone of data science activity at the London School of Economics.

Commenting on news of this award, incoming Pro-Director for Research Professor Susana Mourato said “This new partnership highlights how LSE creates and sustains opportunities for world-leading social science research and shows how the Data Science Institute is core to LSE’s future research vision as part of the LSE 2030 strategy.

Erica is an outstanding example of LSE’s innovative academic community. I am delighted that Erica’s research has received this recognition."

The aim of the Future Leaders Fellowship scheme is to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business. Find out more here.

Erica has been awarded funding to tackle ambitious and challenging research in the area of modelling, with a project titled ‘From models to insight: Effective use of models to inform decisions’. In a world in which decision-makers are often keen to “follow the science” in highly charged contexts and where decisions are informed by complex modelling, there is inevitable disagreement and uncertainty. In these situations it is unclear what “following the science” really means.

Due to her background in mathematics, physics and statistics as well as her experience of working with communities of model users and decision-makers, Erica is in a unique position to contribute to the understanding of both the mathematical and social aspects of the role of models.

Erica will develop four key examples in the areas of modelling: climate change, epidemics, economics and energy, and modelling for disaster anticipation. The overall aim of this project will be to analyse in detail the basis upon which modelling and simulation contribute to knowledge generation and decision support in society, especially the role of model evaluation and statistical analysis methods. Erica then aims to construct a novel, quantitatively rigorous framework for decision-relevant modelling and simulation which takes account of factors that are presently overlooked.

Find out more about Erica here.