Dr Dan Lawson appointed as interim Director of the Jean Golding Institute

Dr Dan Lawson has been appointed as the interim Director of the Jean Golding Institute for an initial period of six months. As well as the interim Director role, he will assume the role of Academic Liaison for The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for Data Science and AI, on behalf of the University of Bristol.

“Dan Lawson is a visionary academic leader whose prominent work in data science has transgressed disciplinary boundaries. I am delighted that he is taking up the position of Director of the Jean Golding Institute, and greatly look forward to working with him.” said Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Professor Phil Taylor.

Dr Lawson is Associate Professor in Data Science in the School of Mathematics, University of Bristol. He has been a longstanding friend of the Jean Golding Institute, becoming the Academic Lead for the JGI Data Science Seminar Series from 2018 and a JGI Steering Group Member since 2021, bringing his experience and knowledge in the field of Data Science advising the JGI of where to focus its activities and contributing to our five year plan.

Dr Lawson is a member of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Turing Fellow in Data Science, with The Alan Turing Institute and co-directs Compass, the EPSRC centre for Computational Statistics and Data science.

“It is a great honour to be guiding the Data Science community at Bristol as interim Director of the Jean Golding Institute. This is a great time to celebrate and build upon the monumental impact that the JGI has already had on Data Intensive Research, both within the University and beyond.” said Associate Professor Lawson on his appointment.

“I am looking forward to speaking to people across the University about their ideas for finding more ways to interact with, learn from, and understand the world with data. With so much exciting research being done, this is a great time to be a data scientist, and change is a good opportunity to start new discussions.”

“The JGI is open for business as ever. From the Ask JGI service for getting advice, to providing data expertise on grants, we are here to serve – and to inspire – our community.” he added.

Associate Professor Lawson began his career at Imperial College London, receiving his PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2007.

In 2014, he joined the University of Bristol as a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust Research Fellow before progressing to Lecturer, Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor in Data Science.

Associate Professor Lawson’s dedication to diversity and outreach initiatives is commendable. Through pioneering initiatives like “Access to Data Science,” he increased the gender, ethnic, and social diversity in academia, thereby contributing to a more inclusive research environment. His engagement in data science outreach efforts, spanning from Bayesian interpretation of Ghost Stories, to COVID modelling, and “What to know before studying Data Science” showcases his commitment to making complex concepts accessible to broader audiences. Additionally, his research, which ranges from landscape management policy documents to industry applications like the finestructure software, underscores his impact across diverse domains, cementing his status as a trailblazer in the field of data science and beyond.

His membership in advisory boards such as the Transdisciplinary Centre of Excellence Estonian Roots (CoEER), showcases his commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and advancing scientific endeavours.

The Jean Golding Institute is the central hub for data science and data-intensive research at the University of Bristol. We connect a multidisciplinary community of experts across the University and beyond. We offer free 1 day of support from our Ask-JGI “ask a data scientist” service for all staff and doctoral students at the University of Bristol, as well as a calendar of events and training throughout the year, such as the annual Bristol Data Week held in early June packed with interactive talks, training, and workshops, open to all and completely free of charge. Save the date for this year’s Bristol Data Week which will be held 3rd – 7th June 2024.

Associate Professor Lawson will commence in his role of Director of the Jean Golding Institute on the 19th February 2024.