On the 14 October the Glasgow Local Group of the RSS and the Operational Research Group of Scotland hosted a joint meeting on Expert Judgement at the University of Strathclyde. 30 people attended the event. There were two speakers at the meeting; Professor Tim Bedford from the University of Strathclyde and Dr John Paul Gosling from the University of Leeds.
Professor Bedford opened the meeting and discussed the use of expert data in uncertainty modelling from a general perspective, introducing theory, methodology and practice. He considered the example of the recent controversy surrounding the l’Aquila earthquake and the seismologists who were jailed for giving their expert judgements. Professor Bedford stressed the importance of using structured, testable methodologies which assess the ability of experts to make quantitative judgements.
Dr Gosling’s talk concerned an application of expert judgement elicitation to a group of experts at Defra. In particular, Defra wished to estimate the likely rates and costs of different animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease in the future. Dr Gosling discussed the structure of the project and how the quantities necessary to calculate the estimates were elicited from the experts using behavioural expert judgement techniques. Particular emphasis was placed on the uncertainty in the estimates. He further discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches used. The meeting was well attended and included discussion sessions after each talk and a wine reception at the conclusion of the talks.