This meeting is postponed. More details to follow.
Royal Society Science+ meeting organised by Professor David Tuckett, Dr David Good and Professor Leonard Smith.
In this meeting we will focus on “real life” decision-making in Government, Business and the Third Sector–decisions such as those about climate mitigation and preserving our environment; policy priorities in health and education; new product, organizational and regulatory innovation; when and how to intervene in humanitarian or other crises overseas; how to maintain cyber and other forms of security; what macroeconomic policies to use to maximise the wellbeing of citizens; how to minimize social and mental discontent; etc.
All these decisions require those making them to draw on available resources so they can imagine both the futures they hope to create with the help of others and possible ways of achieving these futures, or not.
In the five panel sessions during the conference, we will use the Radical Uncertainty framework proposed below to:
- Discuss the experience of a group of very senior decision-makers (Panel 1).
- Debate some of the core academic approaches to decision-making coming from cognitive science, mathematics, statistics and operational research (Panel 2).
- Hear about relevant contemporary research into AI, social and affective neuroscience and “conviction narrative theory” (Panel 3).
- Discuss several pilot projects aimed at helping decision-makers to confront radical uncertainty (Panel 4).
- Think about what sort of further research can help (Panel 5).
The aim is to test in discussion between decision-makers and scientists from across a wide academic spectrum whether there are radically new opportunities for research and organizational arrangements that are likely to improve decision-making by treating uncertainty as opportunity across the policy areas mentioned above.
We propose a new framework for researching and making such decisions in which we conceive them as made in Radical Uncertainty, with the meaning that, at the time decision-makers decide, they can reasonably imagine but cannot know, the outcome of their actions, which are likely to unfold through time.
Within the framework, the central idea is that uncertainty is an opportunity to be embraced as well as something that is feared and avoided. The core implication is that ambivalence - the existence of reasons for and against what is being chosen which will automatically also evoke approach and avoidance emotions – will remain present in such decision-making until the uncertainty is resolved, whether this is recognised or not. In addition, it may last a long time.
The schedule of talks and speaker biographies are available below.
Attending this event
This meeting has been postponed. More details to follow.
Enquiries: contact the Scientific Programmes team