2018 Annual Conference

Expertise, trust and public policy

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2018 CSaP Annual Conference

Held on 28 June 2018 at the Royal Society, London

The challenges facing government require ever more sophisticated use of data and evidence. At the same time, public legitimacy of expertise is called into question.

What are the terms under which data can be used by government to improve public policy outcomes? To what extent are experts open and accountable to the wider public?
To listen to the talks from our 2018 Annual Conference, click on the links below.
For a full list of speakers and topics, please download a copy of the conference agenda

What is the significance of science to government?

Patrick Vallance kicked off the annual conference with a keynote speech, just eleven weeks after starting his new role as the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

You can listen to his talk here:


Behaviour change, nudging and the nanny state

The first panel discussion in this year's conference was chaired by Dr Helen Munn, Director of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and included world leading experts on behaviour change: Professor Dame Theresa Marteau, Director of the Cambridge Behaviour and Health Research Unit; Dr James Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University College London; Harriet Wallace, Deputy Director of Air Quality and Industrial Emissions at Defra.

You can listen to the panel discussion here:


Data science and AI in policy opportunities

This session highlighted the potential opportunities provided by data science and AI, and how these might influence or aid future policy making. Potential negative effects of data science and AI were also highlighted.

The session was chaired by Hetan Shah (Director of the Royal Statistical Society), who was joined by three panel members: Professor Helen Margetts, Professor of Society and the Internet, University of Oxford and Director, Public Policy Programme, Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence; Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Head of Data Science Group and Deputy Head of Polar Oceans Team, British Antarctic Survey; and Dr Karen Croxson, Head of Research & Deputy Chief Economist at the Financial Conduct Authority

You can listen to the panel discussion here:


Uncertainty, communication and trust in a data-driven world

This session highlighted the importance of effective communication to ensure trustworthiness.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter (Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge), chaired the discussion with panellists: Amanda Farnsworth, Head of Visual and Data Journalism, BBC News; Professor Guy Poppy, Chief Scientific Adviser, Food Standards Agency; and Emily Miles, Group Director, Strategy, Defra

You can listen to the recording here:

The conference was sponsored by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.