The Vice-Chancellor’s inaugural lecture: The Nature of Risk

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Alistair-Fitt

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt will give his inaugural lecture this Wednesday (16 March).

The lecture, titled The Nature of Risk, will explore the various kinds of risks we take every day and how we can try to control and understand them. 

Every day we all take risks of various forms. We hope that we can helpfully inform our risk-taking decisions by experience, data and analysis. But when, for example, a politician, scientist or newspaper column gives us what they describe as key data, how much credence should we give to it?

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Alistair said: “Every day we all take risks of various forms. We hope that we can helpfully inform our risk-taking decisions by experience, data and analysis. But when, for example, a politician, scientist or newspaper column gives us what they describe as key data, how much credence should we give to it? What should we believe, what data do we really need and how can we best analyse it?

“In this lecture I will give some examples of good and bad data analysis, and indicate how basic statistical principles can be used to rationally optimise risky investments such as shares or bets.”

Traditionally, newly appointed Vice-Chancellors at Oxford Brookes University give a public open lecture on a topic of their choice. Alistair took on the role of Vice Chancellor in February 2015 having been the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange. 

The lecture will begin at 6.00pm in the John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, Headington Campus. Guests attending the lecture are also invited to a drinks reception after the event in the Abercrombie Atrium. 

Oxford Brookes University continues to host a variety of lectures throughout 2016 with high profile speakers who will be providing fascinating insights, comment and debate on a wide range of topics. Upcoming lectures include:

How has nursing changed in the last 125 years?

Marking this year’s celebration of 125 years of nursing education in Oxford, Senior Lecturer Dr Ann Bradshaw will explore Nightingale’s system of nurse training at St Thomas’s Hospital, the formalising of this system, its development under the General Nursing Council between 1919 and 1977 and its relevance to modern nursing education. 

Thursday 24 March, 5.00pm, Jane Ashley Lecture Theatre, Marston Road site

Why should anyone be led by you?

After a career as a leader in the civil service, most recently at the Home Office and now Director General of The National Trust, one the largest UK charities, Dame Helen Ghosh will look back at the lessons she has learnt about how – and how not – to be a good leader. 

Wednesday 6 April, 6.00pm, John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, Headington Campus

Planning in Scotland

In this lecture, John McNairney - Chief Planner Scotland – will describe the evolution of the Scottish planning system since planning was devolved to the Scottish Government in 1999. The Scottish planning system has seen significant change, improvement and review since devolution and John will look forward to future challenges facing planning and the system in Scotland and key achievements.

Wednesday 13 April, 6.00pm, John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, Headington Campus

The lectures are free to attend and open to all. More information can be found on the Events webpages.