Reviews of “Escape From Model Land”

A brilliant account of how models are so often abused and of how they should be used” – Sir John Kay, author of “Radical Uncertainty”

A wise, lucid and compelling guide to how mathematical modelling shapes our world. Dr Thompson teaches us how to go from being unthinking consumers of models to sophisticated users, combining a rich variety of vivid examples and case studies with deep conceptual expertise, presented in a lively and accessible way” – Stian Westlake, CEO, Royal Statistical Society

Carefully researched and beautifully written, Dr Thompson’s Escape from Model Land reveals how our progressively complex world is dominated by well-meaning experts’ use and misuse of increasingly impenetrable models . . . For an open-minded reader keen to expose, understand and potentially reconstruct their own worldview, Escape from Model Land is, at the same time, an uncomfortable and uplifting read.” – Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester

Escape from Model Land demystifies the process of making the mathematical models that are increasingly used to make decisions about our lives, from the financial markets to the pandemic to climate change. A thought-provoking and helpful guide for data scientists and decision makers alike” – Stephanie Hare, author of ‘Technology Is Not Neutral’

Data, computing power, AI, and the models that use them will continue to proliferate. The wisdom, life experience, and humility to make the best use of those powerful tools will remain scarce. This delightfully wide-ranging book offers heaps of the latter to help us generate genuine insights from the former.” – Charles J. Wheelan, author of ‘Naked Statistics’

…an eye-opening account of the limits and uses of mathematical models… a thoughtful, convincing look at how data works.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A complex subject rendered in accessible terms, with good advice for using models without drowning in data.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“…if you do modelling, take an interest in models or want to understand more about what modelling is and how it affects you, you may enjoy this book. I enjoyed it, was amused by its many metaphors (including cats that are most like dogs, pennies collected in front of bulldozers and dogs chasing guided drone Frisbees), and was taken with its central message of how to get the balance right in modelling (such as by reimagining them as ways to set out a range of possible futures) and her efforts to think how to apply this to her own area of climate modelling” – Andrew Lilico for the Telegraph

“…a highly engaging work of popular science, in which accessibility to the ideas is given priority over academic muscle-flexing and Thompson explains how our current modelling system is inherently biased towards a particular view of the world.” – Nick Smith for E and T Magazine

…a triumph that integrates multiple areas of philosophy with a breadth of scientific expertise to motivate a genuinely humanistic account of model-based thought and action, all while providing an optimistic account of humanity’s ability to integrate a diversity of perspectives for the betterment of all.James Nguyen for Science

“…a refreshing and fearless examination of the strengths and weaknesses of scientific modelling, and its interaction with the habits of the human mind.” – Mark Buchanan for Nature Physics

“…sprightly and highly original” – Felix Martin for the Guardian

“…a contemplative, densely encapsulated summary of her reflection…” – David Shaywitz for the Wall Street Journal

“…a clear and a surprisingly playful exploration of what models can and can’t do, when they’re useful and when they’re not.” – Jeremy Williams for The Earthbound Report