About me

Picture of EricaI’m a Senior Policy Fellow in Ethics of Modelling and Simulation at the LSE’s Data Science Institute. I’m also a Fellow of the London Mathematical Laboratory, where I lead the research programme on Inference from Models, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy.

I work on the appropriate use of mathematical modelling to support real-world decisions, from mathematical and statistical questions about methodologies of inference from models, to psycho-social questions about the formation of confidence and the role of expert judgement.

My interdisciplinary programme of research at the LSE Data Science Institute focuses on the Ethics of Modelling and Simulation. This 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, my 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. Although my work is foundational, it is rooted in those real-world applications.  At present I am working in collaboration with the Start Network, improving their use of forecast information for anticipatory humanitarian action before a crisis hits. I have previously worked with the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change, providing robust climate science information for their Global Calculator project, which has inspired further research questions and knowledge exchange efforts. I also acted as Knowledge Integrator for the AVOID 2 programme, directly funded by DECC, DEFRA and NERC.

I am interested in personal as well as organisational decision-making, and the motivations and factors that influence individuals to take action to reduce their own carbon footprint.  I am reducing my own ecological footprint to a “One Planet” level and do not fly to conferences, instead exploring other ways to contribute to those out of physical reach.