Bernard Silverman

Professor of Modern Slavery Statistics, University of Nottingham

Sir Bernard Silverman is a statistician whose research has ranged widely across theoretical and practical aspects of statistics. He is recognized 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 collaborated in many fields in the physical, life and social sciences, and with various areas of industry and government. Following an academic career at several universities, he was full-time Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Home Office from 2010 to 2017. He is now freelance, with roles including research, charity trusteeship, consultancy, and advice to Government, and holds a part-time appointment as Professor of Modern Slavery Statistics at the University of Nottingham.

His main research activity is now in modern slavery, building on his work in producing the first scientific estimate of the prevalence of modern slavery in the UK. His estimate of 10,000 to 13,000 victims played a pivotal role in the launch of the strategy leading to the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. He is a member of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Advisory Panel and the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Modern Slavery.

Professor Silverman is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a former President of the Royal Statistical Society. He is the recipient of leading academic awards and four honorary degrees.  He was knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours List for public service and services to Science.

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