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Tuesday 24th March 2015


The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is working to raise the profile of the mathematical sciences and its importance to the public policy area.

Public policy is hugely important as it forms the framework by which government and non-governmental organisations work to resolve social, economic and political issues in society. This in turn determines the allocation and distribution of the resources needed to achieve these goals. Mathematics is essential to this process, as it allows us to model how the world works and increases understanding as to how social, economic, natural and industrial systems operate.

Following a launch event in December 2014, this workshop covered cross-cutting areas relating to Heath and Society.

EPSRC Maths and Public Policy for Health and Society Summary Note

This document highlights the key messages from the speakers' presentations, as well as a summary of the questions and points raised during the panel discussion session.

Summary note: 

Aims and Objectives

The Mathematical Sciences offer a way of understanding fundamental questions about our world, and have demonstrable potential to deliver high-impact applications. Effective inter-disciplinary methods such as those found within the mathematical areas of complexity science for instance, are needed in examining social policy issues. Maths can also help in providing much needed insights in the social sciences and health areas where there is a need to analyse and understand data from different perspectives. This workshop:

  • highlighted state-of-the-art mathematical techniques, methodologies and expertise, which can greatly improve modelling and problem-solving in policy making
  • explored topics and challenges that would benefit from closer future interaction
  • explored challenges in Big Data for the health and social sciences policy areas

Talks from leading mathematicians included case studies and exemplars for applications, while policy practitioners presented government perspectives, such as issues and challenges for developing and implementing policy.

The day included opportunities for interaction and networking with break-out and discussion sessions. The main themes that were explored were:

  • Health - optimising immunisation programmes
  • Changing demographics - planning for an ageing population
  • Societal risk - modelling variability and uncertainty
  • Modelling for health and disability

Registration and Venue

This event was aimed at senior stakeholders from Government, public sector, academia and other relevant non-governmental organisations. Attendees were from policy roles such as Analysts, Operational Researchers, Modellers and Economists.

The workshop took place at the Church House Conference Centre, London. Please see the link for further information about the venue.