Dr Erica Thompson

Erica is an Associate Professor of Modelling for Decision Making at the University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy.

Erica Thompson She is also a Fellow of the London Mathematical Laboratory and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Data Science Institute, and has recently published a book about the uses and limitations of mathematical models for decision-making: Escape From Model Land (Basic Books, 2022). Erica’s interdisciplinary programme of research 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? More broadly, her research interests focus on realistic evaluation of model-derived information for decision-making, communication of the inherent uncertainty, and improving robustness and usability of information that is relevant for real-world decisions. She has worked in collaboration with a variety of external organisations including improving the use of forecast information for anticipatory humanitarian action before a crisis hits and providing robust climate science information for the Global Calculator project.  She has a current interest in illuminating the value judgements within models and model-informed decision procedures, especially relevant when decisions are delegated to machines. With a background in climate, Erica prefers to reduce her carbon footprint by not flying to conferences. Instead, she will join the Symposium via a live video link.

54th Annual Academy SymposiumJoin us on 16 and 17 November for our 54th Annual Academy Symposium — Between humans & machines: exploring the pasts and futures of automation as we explore the possibilities and hazards of automation, and the complexities of human-machine relations.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.