I am a statistician whose research has ranged widely across theoretical and practical aspects of statistics. The focus has been on computational statistics, researching the ways that computing power has changed our ability to collect, analyse, understand and utilise data. I have collaborated in many scientific fields, and with various areas of industry and government. After an academic career, I spent seven years as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office. I now work freelance, with roles including research, policy, consultancy, and expert advice.
My portfolio encompasses geospatial and location data, the fight against modern slavery and child sexual violence, official statistics, security, and science and technology for policy, business and government.
For a selection of talks, interviews and other media please visit my media page
Geospatial Commission: I am chair of the Geospatial Commission, an expert committee that sets the UK’s geospatial strategy and promotes the best use of geospatial data. Its aim is to unlock the significant economic, social and environmental opportunities offered by location data and to boost the UK’s global geospatial expertise.
Modern slavery: my work in this area (more details here) has centred, but not exclusively, around approaches to estimating prevalence, building on the pivotal role that a prevalence estimate played in enacting the original Modern Slavery Act 2015. I have been involved in wider research projects, as well as various national and international advisory activities.
“proto-Academy” phase of this new academy, which aims to be an authoritative and persuasive voice for the whole of the mathematical sciences.
National Statistics: I chair the National Statistician's Methodological Assurance Review Panel initially set up to review and provide advice and assurance on methodological matters relevant to the 2021 Census.
The work of the panel has now moved on to the significant change programmes where new or revised statistical methods are being introduced or changed, such as the 2023 Recommendation on the future of Population Statistics, the transformation of Household finances and the transformed labour force survey.
Childlight: I am an advisor to Childlight, which is based at the University of Edinburgh, and works with partners around the world to understand the prevalence, nature and scale of child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA).
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST): POST is Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public-policy issues related to science and technology. I am one of four non-parliamentary members of the Board, which oversees POST's objectives, outputs and future work programme.
Security: I was the founding chair (up to 2022) of the Technology Advisory Panel to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, whose office provides independent oversight of the use of investigatory powers by intelligence agencies, police forces and other public authorities.
UK-China Transparency: I am a trustee of this charity, which aims through research and publication to increase the transparency of relationships between the UK and China, especially those in the academic sphere.
Academic affiliations: In the University of Oxford, I am an Emeritus Professor of Statistics and an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College.