Follow the Science? Data, Models and Decisions in the 21st Century

Hosted by the Data Science Institute

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building)


Professor Diane Coyle

Professor Diane Coyle

Dr Stephanie Hare

Dr Stephanie Hare

Dr Erica Thompson

Dr Erica Thompson


Baroness Shafik

Baroness Shafik

Decision makers, policymakers and activists often urge us to "Follow The Science". However, the science is highly contested, from the data to the models to the final decisions.

This discussion lifts the lid on science for decision support, so that we can be savvier with how we use science, rather than following it blindly.

Meet our speakers and chair

Diane Coyle (@DianeCoyle1859) is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research under the themes of progress and productivity. Her latest book is Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be on how economics needs to change to keep pace with the twenty-first century and the digital economy.

Stephanie Hare (@hare_brain) is a researcher, broadcaster and author focused on technology, politics and history. Selected for the BBC Expert Women programme and the Foreign Policy Interrupted fellowship, shecontributes frequently to radio and television and has published inthe Financial Times, The Washington Post, the Guardian/Observer, the Harvard Business Review, and WIRED. Previously she worked at Accenture, Palantir, and Oxford Analytica and held the Alistair Horne Visiting Fellowship at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She earned a PhD and MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including a year at the Université de la Sorbonne (Paris IV).

Erica Thompson (@H4wkm0th) is a Senior Policy Fellow in Ethics of Modelling and Simulation at the LSE Data Science Institute, funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. Erica is also a Fellow of the London Mathematical Laboratory, where she leads the research programme on Inference from Models and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy.

Minouche Shafik is President and Vice Chancellor of the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was previously a senior leader of the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. She is an alumna of LSE. Her new book, What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract, is out now.

More about this event

The Data Science Institute (@LSEDataScience) is LSE's newest Institute, established to foster the study of data science and new forms of data with a focus on their social, economic and political aspects. 

You can order the three books from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney (UK delivery only):

Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be

Escape from Model Land: How Mathematical Models Can Lead Us Astray and What We Can Do About It

Technology Is Not Neutral: A Short Guide to Technology Ethics 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEModelLand

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Follow the Science? Data, Models and Decisions in the 21st Century.

A video of this event is available to watch at Follow the Science? Data, Models and Decisions in the 21st Century.

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Featured image (used in source code with watermark added): Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash.

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