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Sir Bernard Silverman is the Chair of the UK Research Integrity Office. He is a statistician whose research has ranged widely across theoretical and practical aspects of statistics. He is recognised as a pioneer of computational statistics, researching the ways that computing power has changed our ability to collect, analyse, understand and utilise data. He has published extensively in this field, covering aspects from the fundamental mathematical properties of new methods to computer packages for their implementation. He has collaborated in many fields in the physical, life and social sciences, and with various areas of industry and government.
He has held senior academic and leadership posts at the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Oxford and has a very broad record of providing statistical and consultancy advice in industry, commerce and Government as well as in financial and legal contexts.
From 2010 to 2017 he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office. His role was to provide and facilitate scientific advice on all aspects of Home Office policy and operations to the Home Secretary, ministers and officials, to lead research and science within the Home Office, and to build relationships within and outside Government including internationally. He is now freelance, with roles including research, charity trusteeship, consultancy, and advice to Government.
His main current research activity is in modern slavery, building on his work for the Home Office in producing the first scientific estimate of the prevalence of modern slavery in the UK. He is a member of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Advisory Panel and the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Modern Slavery, and holds a part-time chair in Modern Slavery Statistics at the University of Nottingham.
His other current main interest is in security, as chair of the Technology Advisory Panel, set up under the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 to give specialist advice to the senior judges who provide independent oversight of the use of investigatory powers by intelligence agencies, police forces and other public authorities. In addition, his concerns include research integrity, as Chair of the UK Research Integrity Office, scientific matters relevant to public policy generally, for example as a Board Member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and diversity and equality issues, as a member of the Royal Society’s Diversity Committee.
Professor Silverman is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Social Sciences. He was knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours List for public service and services to Science.