Skip to content

Research seminar

The politics of modelling, numbers between science and policy

Add to calendar 2024-07-04 13:30 2024-07-04 15:00 Europe/Rome The politics of modelling, numbers between science and policy Via Zoom YYYY-MM-DD


04 July 2024

13:30 - 15:00 CEST


Via Zoom

In this seminar organised by the Crisis of Expert Knowledge and Authority Interdisciplinary Research Cluster, Andrea Saltelli (UPF Barcelona School of Management) will discuss the use of mathematical models for policy-making and their social and political impact.

The talk will review a recent volume published by Oxford in August 2023, that discusses how climate change and COVID-19 have brought mathematical models into the forefront of politics and decision-making, where they are now being used to justify momentous and often controversial decisions. Such models are technically very complex, and sources of political authority. Yet disagreement among experts fuels a growing uneasiness about the quality and significance of the numbers that models produce. This multidisciplinary volume takes a critical look at the intersections of the technical and the political aspects of models.

Andrea Saltelli has worked on physical chemistry, environmental sciences, applied statistics, impact assessment and science for policy. His main disciplinary focus is on sensitivity analysis of model output, a discipline where statistical tools are used to interpret the output from mathematical or computational models, and on sensitivity auditing, an extension of sensitivity analysis to the entire evidence-generating process in a policy context. He serves presently as academic counsellor at UPF Barcelona School of Management and is visiting scientist at the University of Bergen and at the Italian CNR.

His most recent papers have tackled sensitivity analysis and auditing, science's reproducibility crisis, impact assessment, ethics of quantification, regulatory capture, rankings of higher education, science's integrity and the post-truth discussion. Andrea gives courses in sensitivity analysis, sensitivity auditing, science integrity, and ethics of quantification.

Go back to top of the page