University of Bristol hosts UK climate data hackathon in advance of COP26 – the CMIP6 Data Hackathon

Researchers from across the UK are coming together for a climate data hackathon this June. The hackathon is a three-day virtual event organised by the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute and Jean Golding Institute, in association with the Met Office and universities of ExeterLeeds and UCL.


The aim of the hackathon is to produce cutting-edge research using data from the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), with the aim of showcasing outputs at the upcoming COP26 delegation in November, and through peer-reviewed publications. Topics rangfrom climate change to oceanography, biogeochemistry, and more. 

Dr Dann Mitchell is the Met Office Joint Chair in Climate Hazards at Bristol: I’m delighted that we have received over one hundred applications to take part in our hackathon, it is a great chance for academics to experience research on topics outside of their comfort zone. 

Teams are being led by senior academics from Bristol and the partner universities, with assistance from data science experts at the Jean Golding Institute, the central hub for data science and data-intensive research at the University of Bristol. 

The hackathon will take advantage of several online collaboration platforms, with code, visualisations and other outputs being shared openly on GitHub. Professor Kate Robson Brown, Director of the Jean Golding Institute commented: Supporting open, accessible science and best practice in research is a key part of the work of the JGIThis event opens up areas of climate research to whole new groups of researchers and I’m encouraged by its popularity. I’m pleased we are able to provide a team of data scientists to support this exciting science. 

To ensure computational resources are available to all participants, the hackathon is being hosted on JASMIN, the UK’s data analysis facility for environmental science. Poppy TownsendCommunications Manager at JASMIN has been supporting the eventJASMIN is a globally unique data analysis facility. It provides storage and compute facilities, enabling data-intensive environmental science for over 1,600 users. We are excited to be supporting a range of climate hackathons in the run up to COP26 and are pleased to see new and innovative uses of our JASMIN Notebook Service, launched in 2020. Making Python available through interactive Jupyter Notebooks helps open up data visualisation tools to a wider community, reducing barriers to scientific computing.” 

Following the theme of sharing best practice, the hackathon team have also published a wide range of resources on their website, not only for participants but also for organisers of other virtual hackathon events. These include a guide to running an online event on JASMIN, an event checklist, and template forms, emails and resourceswhich have already been accessed by other Met Office partner universities who will be conducting their own hackathons in the build-up to COP26 later this year. 

The CMIP6 Data Hackathon will take place between 2nd4th June, and although places at the event are now finalised, you can stay updated by following #cmip6hackathon for live tweets as the event progresses. You can also get involved with one of our events. Just two weeks after, the Jean Golding Institute is hosting Data Week Online 2021. Running between 14th18th June, Data Week is a week of complimentary workshops, renowned speakers and interactive events showcasing the latest in Data Science and AI. Everyone is welcome! You can register to attend a Data Week event by following the links on our website. 


About the author: James Thomas is a data scientist at the Jean Golding Institute and member of the CMIP6 Data Hackathon organising team. His research interests include energy and the environment, and he is currently working on urban analytics projects with a focus on Net Zero and reducing health and well-being inequalities. 

Social Justice and AI Workshop Placement, a blog post by Ralph Ward

My name is Ralph Ward and I am currently studying for a Masters in Anthropology at the University of Bristol. I have just completed a 4-month placement supporting the development and operation of a Social Justice and AI Workshop for the GW4 Data Science Network .

I am just about to start research for my dissertation exploring the notion of Ethnic Invisibility among diasporic Filipinos living in the United Kingdom. Being half Filipino myself, I have always been curious about my heritage. With the world becoming an increasingly transnational community, I believe that conversations about ethnic identity and heritage are incredibly important. My research interests also include museums, heritage work and conservation management. Completing this placement has allowed me to take away many new skills in IT and data population as well as developed interpersonal, time management and problem-solving skills. I am certain that these skills will assist me with the completion of my dissertation project as well as future employment prospects.

One of the main things that stood out to me when organising the workshop was the importance of teamwork, especially when it comes to planning an event online. Although  due to the COVID 19 restrictions we were not able to meet in person, the team was extremely proactive in making sure we stayed connected virtually. This was valuable and helped me feel part of the team. I am extremely grateful for the level of responsibility that was given to me during my time with JGI, right from the initial brainstorming stage.  I was involved in the background research of prospective attendees, the event planning itself and assisted in running the event on the day.

Overall, I feel that the workshop was a great success. There was a huge turnout from a range of disciplines within the GW4 network and external organisations. The workshop brought about a series of productive speed-networking sessions which gave lots of food for thought for potential collaborative ideas. The workshop was filled with a range of talks from topics like algorithmic bias in decision making, data justice in Mexico’s multiveillant society and Networking With Care: Exploring Data and AI Ethics research practices                            

I would like to thank Kate Robson Brown and Patty Holley from the Jean Golding Institute for providing the opportunity to work on such an exciting event and lastly Chiara, Elaine and Lily for being such a fantastic team to work with!

Ralph Ward


Screenshot from Social Justice and AI Workshop 


BrisSciFilm 2021 – Jean Golding Institute data science and AI film prize

We are very excited to announce that we are collaborating with Bristol Science Film Festival, every year they run a science film competition to encourage and support all filmmakers. It is open to amateur and experienced film makers; the shortlisted films are screened on the Big Screen in Bristol and at a special film-makers screening during the festival.  

The JGI are contributing an additional prize this year for a short film submitted to the competition with a data science or artificial intelligence theme. We will award £150 to the winner and £50 to the runner up. 

We are interested in seeing your short science fiction or fact films on a data theme. These could explore data ethics, how the information age has affected the spread of misinformation, or how data science and AI is positively changing our lives now and in the future. 

The winning film will also be screened during our Data Week Online 2021 (14th-18th June). To be considered, just submit your film to the Bristol Science Film Festival via FilmFreeway and you’ll automatically be considered for this prize.  

Already submitted your film? We don’t make final decisions until after the competition closing date of May 1st, 2021. If you have already submitted your film on a data science-related topic, it’ll automatically be eligible for the Jean Golding Institute prize. 

Any questions, please get in touch ( Good luck!

Seed Corn Funding 2021 announcement

The Jean Golding Institute is delighted to announce the winners of the Seed Corn Funding call 2021.  

We are very grateful to our community as we received so many high-level applications during these challenging times and were able to select 12 fantastic projects.  

This funding call aims to support activities to foster interdisciplinary research in data science (including AI) and data-intensive research.  

It has now been successfully running for last four years and the Jean Golding Institute has funded a total of 42 seed corn projects (you can see the outputs of the projects on our website) 


Our winners this year are: 

  • Chris Mc Williams (Engineering Maths) with ‘The ‘symbolic annihilation of women’ in primary school literature. 
  • Christopher Williamson and Matthew Jones (Geographical Sciences) with ‘Convolutional Neural Networks for Environmental monitoring’ 
  • Richard Owen, Vivienne Kuh and James Ladyman (Management) with ‘What is the best relationship between humans and AI? Investigating researcher perceptions of AI through immersive experience.’ 
  • Cheryl McQuire, Luisa Zucculo, Christopher Woods and Mike Jones (Centre for Public Health / Bristol Medical School) with ‘Pandemics and ‘infodemics’: the nature, extent and reach of public health misinformation on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.’ 
  • Valerrio Maggio, Oliver Davis and Claire Haworth (MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit / Bristol Medical School) with ‘Secure machine learning on sensitive ground truth data held by UK birth cohorts’ 
  • Sam Gunner, Ella Voyagaki and Maria Pregnolato (Engineering) with ‘A Digital Twin Enabler for the Clifton Suspension Bridge: an open-interface structural model’ 
  • Kevon Parmeser (Bristol Medical School) with ‘Evaluating fairness, bias and equality in Artificial Intelligence for skin disease.’ 
  • Sebastian Steinig, Dan Lunt, Kieren Pitts and Caitlyn Witkowski (Geographical Sciences) with ‘Earth’s climate at your fingertips: connecting multidisciplinary environmental sciences and the public through interactive data exploration’ 
  • Ahmed Elkaheen and Matteo Sattler (MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit / Bristol Medical School) with ‘Effects of adolescent physical activity on physical and mental health in adulthood: novel multivariate pattern analysis of the intensity spectrum’ 
  • Denize Atan and Neil Davies (Translational Health Sciences / Bristol Medical School) with ‘Non-invasive imaging of the eye to predict Alzheimer’s disease’ 
  • Pau Erola, Tom Gaunt and Richard Martin (Population Health Science / Bristol Medical School) with ‘Pilot Assessment of Cancer Risk After SARS-COV-19′ 
  • Xin Fei and Xiaojun Wang (Management) with ‘The effective deployment strategy of COVID-19 vaccines with various efficacies to mitigate the impacts of pandemic in the UK’ 

We are excited to hear how all these projects progress this year and will report back on their work in the summer of 2021. Our next Seed corn funding call will be in the Autumn of 2021. 

To ensure you keep up to date with any other funding calls, news, events and other opportunities, please join the JGI mailing list. 

Imagining Secure Digital Futures – DiScriBe Hub+

Professor Awais Rashid and Dr Genevieve Liveley
Professor Awais Rashid and Dr Genevieve Liveley

Dr Genevieve Liveley and Professor Awais Rashid are part of the team of the newly launched ESRC Digital Security by Design Social Science Hub+, DiScriBe, a four year project to bring social science, humanities and computer science together to address the challenges of digital security. DiScriBe Hub+ is one of two programmes of research and development announced by UK Research and Innovationas part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) “Digital Security by Design” (DSbD) programme to prevent the prevalence of damaging cyber security attacks by applying social and economic science to core questions around the adoption of new secure technologies, the readiness of different sectors (and roles) to adopt new secure hardware, the regulatory and policy environment and how that might influence the adoption of DSbD Tech, and what social and cultural factors might influence the success of the wider DSbD ecosystem.   

Led by Professor Adam Joinson at the University of Bath, in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Royal Holloway University of Londonthis project aims to reshape the ways in which social sciences and STEM disciplines work together to address the challenges of digital security. 

There is a current commissioning call for scoping reviews around our four key topic areas, with the goal to understand the current state of knowledge and areas with no evidence base:

  1. Economics of security hardware adoption: quantifying costs and benefits   
    Under this call topic area, we are seeking a review of existing methods for identifying and quantifying the costs and benefits of adoption of new security hardware and practices. The identification should be done under a broad scope, for instance the benefits should encompass reducing the expected loss in terms of direct and indirect costs of cybersecurity failure, and importantly, in addition to private costs, externalities should also be considered and analysed.  
  2. Understanding secure and insecure practices across consumer chains of hardware security advances  
    Under this topic area, we require a systematic mapping of the consumer chains that will potentially utilise hardware security advances. The focus of the scoping research should be on understanding how secure (or insecure) practices currently manifest across the complex intersections inherent in these consumer chains. These consumer chains encompass infrastructure developers who aggregate a range of hardware and software services to deliver critical systems, e.g., smart city environments, smart grids, intelligent transportation, etc. as well as those who deliver consumer goods ranging from personal computers and devices to Internet of Things (IoT). 
  3. Regulation, Policy and Cybersecurity
    We are seeking to commission research on the regulatory landscape within the UK digital security sector. The focus should be on the design and use of hardware security as part of digital products and services. The regulatory landscape encompasses legislation, standards and regulation.   
  4. Social and Cultural Differences in the Adoption of Security Technologies  
    We intend to conduct a survey to understand the difference between social, cultural and commercial barriers to adoption of secure tech (i.e. CHERI and associated hardware/software) between sectors. In preparation we need to identify the potential adopters of secure technology – from manufacturers and open source communities, to end users (private, public and third sectors). Specifically, given we cannot survey all sectors, we aim to identify which to focus on through a scoping exercise to determine those that will likely achieve the highest impact from secure technology adoption.  Full call:

Deadline: Submissions by 4pm on the 3rd Dec 2020