Beale Lecture

Thursday 21 February 2019, 14:30

Royal Society
6-9 Carlton Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

The 2019 Beale Lecture opened with a short talk from our 2016 PhD winner, Itamar Megiddo, and was followed by our main speaker and 2017 Beale Medal award winner, Mike C Jackson OBE.

14:00 Registration and refreshments
14:30 Lectures begin

The Beale Lecture is given at the Royal Society's Carlton House terrace, London, which is fully accessible to people with special mobility requirements and is equipped with hearing loops for those who need them.

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science.

Memorial Lecture for one of OR's true greats.

The OR Society’s Beale Medal is awarded each year in memory of the late Martin Beale. It gives formal recognition to a sustained contribution over many years to the theory, practice or philosophy of operational research (OR) in the UK, or to some combination of those areas. More details can be found in this short biography of Martin Beale.

Dr Itamar Megiddo.jpg

Opening Talk: Dr Itamar Megiddo

Doctoral Award Winner 2016

Title: Agent-based modelling for healthcare policy decisions in low and middle-income countries: analyses using data from India

In this talk, we will discuss IndiaSim, a data-driven agent-based model (ABM) of the Indian population and its utilisation of the healthcare system. We will discuss analyses of India’s Universal Immunization Programme (rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines), developing water and sanitation infrastructure to reduce the burden of diarrheal disease and public financing of healthcare packages. In the process, we will reflect on the flexibility and challenges of using ABMs, what we did to overcome the challenges and what we might do better.


Dr Itamar Megiddo is a Chancellor’s Fellow, lecturer (assistant professor) at the Department of Management Science at the University of Strathclyde. His research focus is on improving evidence-based decision making and resource allocation in healthcare policy. His main body of work integrates disease (including infectious and non-communicable), health system, and economic modelling to evaluate impact and design policy and strategy, and he is particularly interested in improving agent-based modelling of healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries.


Main Speaker: Prof Mike C Jackson FORS OBE

Beale Medal Winner 2017

Title: The Future of OR Is Present

In 1978, at a conference in York, Russ Ackoff argued that the deficiencies of OR meant ‘the future of OR is past.’ Concentrating on theoretical and methodological advances such as ‘soft OR’ and ‘multi-methodology’, and drawing upon developments in the related trans-discipline of systems thinking, I make the case for an ‘enhanced OR’ capable of helping decision-makers meet the challenges posed by modern day complexity. Indeed, the future of OR is present.


Mike is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hull and Fellow of The OR Society. He received his PhD from the University of Hull, has been awarded two honorary doctorates and authored numerous books. Mike has been a visiting professor at numerous international universities and received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2011 for services to higher education and business. His new book, Critical Systems Thinking: Responsible Leadership for a Complex World will be published by John Wiley & Sons in 2019.

Royal Society building


Previous Beale Lectures

The future of OR is present

Mike C Jackson OBE, Emeritus Professor at the University of Hull, gave the 2019 Beale Lecture on The future of OR is present.

View Mike Jackson's lecture here

The fitness and survival of the OR profession in the age of artificial intelligence

Richard Ormerod delivers the Beale Lecture for 2018 on The Fitness and Survival of the OR Profession in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

View Professor Ormerod's Beale Lecture

Opening talk: Heterogeneous location and pollution-routing problems

Dr Çağri Koç gave the opening talk entitled Heterogeneous Location and Pollution-Routing Problems but, before he did so, President John Hopes presented him with his award.

See Dr Koç's talk here