Sir Bernard Silverman FRS

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, consultancy, and expert advice.  My current portfolio encompasses modern slavery, security, official statistics, and science and technology for policy, business and government.  

If you want to contact me, please use this contact form


Modern Slavery in the UK: March 2020 (ONS statistical release)

The ONS has published a statistical release which brings together a variety of data sources on modern slavery for the first time to help us better understand both the nature of this crime and the potential demand on support services. I have written a guest blog for ONS commenting in more detail.


Modern slavery: my work (more details here) centres around my post as Professor of Modern Slavery Statistics at Nottingham University and also encompasses various national and international advisory activities.  
 
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): I am a member of the ESRC Council, which works with the Executive Chair to shape the ESRC’s strategy and to support the overall mission of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to maintain the UK’s world-leading position in research and innovation.
 
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 chair 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.

The Census: I chair the Methodological Assurance Panel for the Modernisation of the 2021 Census. Our task is to assure the National Statistician that the statistics resulting from the 2021 Census will meet the code of practice for official statistics and that the predominately online census is methodologically robust.

Other major current roles include: chair of the implementation group of the Big Mathematics Initiative; Chief Scientific Adviser to PUBLIC; and advisory board member of Goodbox. A full list of my activities and affiliations is available here.

Some interviews and talks about me and what I do

A photo from Chalkdust

I talked to the students from UCL who edit Chalkdust magazine about science, statistics, government and more besides.  

When I was at the Home Office, I was interviewed for the house magazine Inside Track. 

For more about statistics and Modern Slavery, watch this TEDx talk. There's also a podcast, a radio segment and a webinar on my Modern Slavery media page.

Part of a conference on Global Systems Dynamics and Policy, this podcast has some thoughts about the larger aspects of the way that science interacts with policy.