Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life, Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Professor Sir John Aston is Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life at the University of Cambridge, where he leads research into the use of quantitative evidence in public policy making, works with those in public life to ensure the best methods are used, and aims to improve the use of statistics and other quantitative evidence in public policy debates. He also works in the areas of statistics in healthcare, particularly medical imaging, and he is Co-Director of the Cambridge Mathematics of Information in Healthcare Hub. John is also on the Management Board of the Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information.
John is a non-Executive Board Member of the UK Statistics Authority and from 2017-2020 was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office and Director-General for Science, Technology, Analysis, Research and Strategy. He was a founding director of the Alan Turing Institute. He is a member of the London Policing Board and president-elect of the Royal Statistical Society, where he will serve as President 2025-26.
John's interests include all areas of Applied Statistics but particularly Statistical Neuroimaging and Statistical Linguistics. John has methodological interests amongst other things in Functional Data Analysis, Time Series Analysis, Image Analysis, Changepoint Analysis, and Spatial-Temporal Statistics.
Prior to taking up his position at Cambridge, John held academic positions at the University of Warwick and at Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
John was knighted in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to statistics and public policymaking.