Gerald Walters 47th Memorial Lecture – Science and Mathematics in Government: DNA Profiles, Border Security and Modern Slavery

9th May 2017 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge
University of Bath
Claverton Down, Bath
Events & Ceremonies Team
+44 (0)1225 383659

On 9 May, we will welcome Professor Bernard Silverman to give the Gerald Walters 47th Memorial Lecture.

DNA Profiles, Border Security and Modern SlaveryProfessor Silverman’s lecture is entitled ‘Science and Mathematics in Government: DNA Profiles, Border Security and Modern Slavery’. We are pleased that prior to the lecture Professor Bernard Silverman will receive an Honorary Degree from the University. This honour celebrates both his outstanding work and the University’s 50th anniversary year.


Science and mathematics are relevant to a very wide range of Government policies and operations. For example, if someone is arrested but not charged, for how long should their DNA profile be retained? How should resources be allocated to queues at the border? How many victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are there in the UK today? Professor Silverman will discuss these and other aspects of his work as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, and will reflect more broadly on issues around the contribution of science to public policy.

Professor Bernard Silverman

Professor Bernard SilvermanBernard Silverman was one of the pioneers of Computational Statistics, the understanding and development of the ways that increasing computer power over the last 40 years has revolutionised the handling, analysis and presentation of data. His research has ranged widely across theoretical and applied aspects of statistics and he has collaborated in many fields, as diverse as equine gait analysis, climate science, human genetics and the neuroscience of hearing. He has acted as a consultant in many areas of industry, commerce, finance, law and government. He was an academic at the University of Bath from 1978 to 1993, serving a term as Head of School of Mathematical Sciences and also as a member of the University’s governing Council. From 2010 to 2017 he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, providing advice to the Home Secretary and other ministers and officials on all aspects of science and research, and more generally leading the scientists within the Home Office, building external and international relationships, and taking part in the wider scientific network across Government. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a past President of the Royal Statistical Society.

Gerald Walters Memorial Lecture

The Gerald Walters Memorial Lecture Series is named after Dr Gerald Walters, who was the first Reader in the Humanities at the University and established himself for both his scholarship and political achievements. He is credited with bringing recognition across the University of the value of understanding the nature of society in a largely scientific and technological institution. After his sudden death at an early age in 1970, the University established the Gerald Walters Memorial Lecture as the first public series following the granting of the University’s charter in 1966 and its arrival to Bath.

Tickets: This event is free to attend and open to all. Please book your tickets in advance.