Calculating and Communicating Uncertainty and Risk to Allow Informed Decision Making

Veronica Bowman, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Veronica Bowman Lecture Slides


Clear communication of uncertainty is crucial for effective risk management, but is difficult to achieve in practice.  This is compounded when the application area is complex and accurate calculation of uncertainty is both challenging and time consuming.
Uncertainty communication must be clear to experts and non-experts alike and must account for a lack of understanding of the definitions of both "risk" and "uncertainty".  This talk will examine the underpinning principals of how risk and uncertainty is understood and communicated, using examples of the wide variety of defence applications that require an understanding of uncertainty and outlining the reason that uncertainty calculation and communication is crucial to decision making. 
The talk will then provide an illustrative scenario examining the theoretical release and spread of a disease within a city, demonstrating both the challenges faced in such a complex scenario and sharing current best practice when communicating with decision makers.  

About the Speaker

Dr Veronica Bowman is internationally recognised as the lead technical expert for Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) knowledge management. She was the chair of the Calculating and Communicating Uncertainty Conference (CCU 2015), which bought together leading researchers from the field of uncertainty and has authored a chapter on communicating uncertainty in the Risk Management Handbook. Veronica has a BSc with First Class Honours and a PhD in Statistical Modelling both from the University of Southampton. She is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and is a chartered mathematician.

About the Risk Lecture Series:

As part of the effort to connect the research in the Institute with prominent organisations, and to contribute to University's ongoing efforts in reaching out to the general public, an Open Lecture Series in Risk and Uncertainty will take place in 2017. High-profile speakers from government, industry and academia have been invited to deliver talks.

The lectures would take place in the Leggate LT in the Victoria Building on the University of Liverpool campus at 5.30pm.