Joint RSS South West Local Group Meeting

The joint ExIStA RSS local group meeting was held on Monday 19th November 2012 from 12-1pm in the Laver building, Lecture Theatre 6 (No 22. on the campus map).

Invited speaker Professor David Spiegelhalter gave a seminar on:

"Don't know, can't know: communicating risk and deeper uncertainty"

Mathematical models are vital whenever we admit we cannot predict precisely what is going to happen, for example in weather forecasting, insurance, nuclear safety, natural disasters, the effect of new medical interventions and, more controversially, in climate change and finance.  Such models get so complex that multiple simulations of 'possible futures' may be necessary, which allow us to quantify chances of future events, which then need to be communicated to the public and policy-makers.  If we take a Bayesian perspective, then any probability assessment is only a construction based on available information and judgment, and multiple metaphors can be adopted to create a narrative around these quantities. And models are 'just models', and are always wrong to some extent, and so how can we express this deeper uncertainty?


Please contact us at if you have any problems or questions regarding participation in this event.