Our program is subject to change. Speakers have confirmed their intent to participate; however, scheduling conflicts may arise.


Carolyn Roberts, FRGS

David Spiegelhalter, OBE, FRS, Ph.D.

Michael Wysesson, Ph.D.

Professor Carolyn Roberts is an environmental scientist with longstanding water and environment interests, working mainly for people who want to know about the likely future impact of developments such as housing, industry, waste disposal and mining on the water environment. She was the first Professor of the Environment at Gresham College, London, in the UK, giving public lectures in the City of London on behalf of this ancient institution where the eminent architect Sir Christopher Wren and scientist James Hooke previously held professorships. The College was founded in 1597; the requirement to deliver the talks in Latin was (perhaps fortunately) dropped in the nineteenth century. You can find her lectures for Gresham College here (scroll down).

Earlier in her career she directed the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network at the University of Oxford in the UK, linking business and universities nationally in order to promote research and innovation in environmental technologies. Her team helped to generate projects on renewable energy, building future cities, water management, pollution clean up, low impact agriculture, novel materials, and many other new technologies. She has taught and researched in several other UK universities too, and frequently represented the UK government in international meetings promoting the country’s expertise in environmental science and technology.

Carolyn has been Chair of the UK’s national organisation representing environmental professionals, Society for the Environment, and is a Vice President of the UK Institution of Environmental Sciences. She has written many books, papers and consultancy reports on environmental themes, and spoken at conferences around the world, from China to Argentina, New Zealand to Sweden. She has a deep interest in Bangladesh, where she volunteers with a local university to promote knowledge about the environment and sustainability amongst Bangladeshi students. More information about her work, including some gruesome but fascinating projects for the police tracking the bodies of murder victims floating down rivers (sometimes in several pieces, and from time-to-time in suitcases), and advising on management of major flooding incidents, can be found on the BBC’s The Life Scientific website.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the University of Cambridge. This philanthropically-funded team of statisticians, psychologists, and communication professionals is based in the world-leading mathematics department at Cambridge University, and aims to improve the way that statistical evidence is used by health professionals, patients, lawyers and judges, media, and policy-makers. He advises organizations and government agencies on risk communication and is a regular media commentator on statistical issues, with a particular focus on communicating uncertainty.

His background is in medical statistics, particularly the use of Bayesian methods in clinical trials, health technology assessment, and drug safety. He has over 200 refereed publications and is co-author of six textbooks, as well as The Norm Chronicles (with Michael Blastland), and Sex by Numbers. He works extensively with the media, and presented the BBC documentaries Tails you Win: the Science of Chance and the award-winning Climate Change by Numbers. In 2011 he came in seventh place in an episode of adventure game-show Winter Wipeout on BBC. His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019 in the UK and September 2019 in the U.S., and has been featured in a major interview by Christiane Amanpour on CNN.

He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005, and knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics. He was President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2017–2018.

He is @d_spiegel on Twitter, and his home page is http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~david/.

Michael Wysession, a Professor of Geophysics and the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Washington University in St. Louis, is a leader in the areas of seismology and geophysical education. He has authored or co-authored over 100 papers and reports in geophysics and science education, and over 30 textbooks ranging from grade school to graduate school. Wysession was Chair of the NSF’s Earth Science Literacy Initiative, Chair of Earth and Space Science for the National Academy of Science report A Framework for K-12 Science Education, and one of the lead architects of the new national K-12 Next Generation Science Standards. His awards include the Packard Foundation’s Science and Engineering Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship, the Innovation Award from the St. Louis Science Academy, the inaugural Ambassador Award from the American Geophysical Union, for which he is a Fellow, and the Frank Press Award from the Seismological Society of America. He is the author of four video lecture courses with the Teaching Company’s Great Courses series: How the Earth Works, The World’s Greatest Geologic Wonders, National Geographic’s Polar Explorations, and The Science of Energy.