Mon, December 11, 2023


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New Chair Announced for Alliance for Data Science Professionals

Professor Edward Rochead CMath CSci FIMA has been appointed as the new chair for the Alliance for Data Science Professionals (AfDSP).

A Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and a Chartered Mathematician, he has a long and distinguished background in Government Science and Technology Research (S&T) and is currently the Commissioner for AI, Autonomy and Cyber, Defence Science and Technology, MOD. He is the Visiting Professor of Innovation Strategy at Loughborough University and a trustee of the University of Winchester.

Launched in 2021, the AfDSP comprises six organisations: the Royal Statistical Society; BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT; the Operational Research Society; the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications; the Alan Turing Institute; and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Professor Rochead said: “I am delighted to have the chance to chair the AfDSP at this exciting time and look forward to working with the representatives of the partner bodies in this endeavour. Throughout history, genuine innovation has rarely occurred when people have stuck rigidly within traditional domains. Data Science is a modern example of how society can genuinely move forward by taking elements of several disciplines such as computing, statistics, applied mathematics and operational research. It has been increasingly apparent that the impact of Data Science on society is only going to grow, and it is also true that we need to find ways of supporting and enabling the community of Data Science Professionals who are working in this area.”

Paul Martynenko, Deputy Chair AfDSP, and Vice President Registration and Standards, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said: “It’s great to welcome Ed as chair of the Alliance. Data Science is a 'team sport' and its members affect the lives and livelihoods of all in society. So, the Alliance is building a professional framework for those working in the field and it is establishing common standards across professions. We have made very good progress and I look forward to working with Ed as we move into the next phase of our work.”

“He will lead the Alliance at an exciting time. Our new governance framework reflects the increased pace and scale of our work with several exciting announcements to be made in 2024, including new Alliance partners and the launch of an accreditation scheme for data science degrees and modules of associated degrees, alongside our existing professional competency frameworks for Data Science Professionals.”

Rachel Hilliam, outgoing Alliance Chair and Vice President for Professional Affairs at the RSS, commented, “I wish Ed all the very best in this role. Data is everywhere and for everyone and the AfDSP has already had an impact with a growing number of people working across the breadth of Data Science achieving awards. The Alliance is a truly interdisciplinary endeavour with the creation of standards by the community for the community and I know that Ed will lead the AfDSP to further achievements in his role.”

Neil Stansfield, Head of digital technologies at NPL said “We are delighted to welcome Ed to the role of Chair of the AfDSP.  As the alliance goes from strength to strength Ed’s leadership will be invaluable.  Ed brings huge experience to the AfDSP team, not just from his experience across data science fields, but also his leadership and governance experience gained from Government, academia, and third sector roles.”

Matthew Forshaw, Senior Advisor for Skills at The Alan Turing Institute and Reader in Data Science at Newcastle University, said, “I am delighted that we have appointed Ed Rochead to the role of Chair. The Alliance has already played a significant role in establishing and upholding the professional values necessary to ensure ethical, fair and safe professional practices around data and AI. This success is underpinned by strong partnership working and Ed is ideally positioned to advance this mission.”