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After the great success of the inaugural event of the Sustainable Big Data Conversations series, we are pleased to announce the next event that will take place on Thursday 18 January 2024. The aim of the event is to foster the BDI/OxPop community and leadership team’s awareness about funders’ policies aimed at tackling the environmental impacts of research. This ensures that our research community is aware of changes in the funding context and also have a voice in impacting them as policies are still being drafted. Confirmed panel members include Dr. Melissa Lewis-Brown from Cancer Research UK, Dr. Susan Simon from Medical Research Council, Talia Caplan from the Wellcome Trust and Dr Thomas Nichols from the BDI.

The event will be at the Lecture Theatre, Richard Doll Building. Refreshments will be available from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM, with the talks commencing at 11:30 AM.




11:00 – 11:30

Coffee & Tea in the Atrium

11:30 – 11:40

Welcome and Introduction to the series and the panel by Dr Federica Lucivero and Prof. Michael Parker

11:40 – 11:50

Presentation by Dr Melissa Lewis-Brown

11:50 – 12:00

Presentation by Talia Caplan

12:00 – 12:10

Presentation by Dr Susan Simon

12:10 – 13:00

Panel Discussion and Q&A session joined by Dr Thomas Nichols


Dr Melissa Lewis-Brown is Head of Research Data Strategy at Cancer Research UK, where her role is to deliver a strategy that supports cancer research that makes use of big data and uses approaches such as data science and AI. Her team works with researchers, people affected by cancer and others, to develop solutions to challenges in this space so that large-scale data and digital technologies are used appropriately in research to improve the health and lives of people affected by cancer - this includes developing an approach to environmentally sustainable data science.

Dr Susan Simon is the Director of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Environmental Sustainability Programme and Director Capital & Estates and Chief Environmental Sustainability Officer, Medical Research Council (MRC). Her responsibility includes driving the organisation to a net-zero position by 2040 which entails a wide-ranging programme including transformation of UKRI owned research infrastructure, operations and behavioural change. 

Talia Caplan is a Research Manager in the Climate Change & Health team at  Wellcome Trust. Her focus is on funding research on the health effects of climate change mitigation actions. She also leads work at Wellcome which addresses the environmental impact of research. 

Dr Thomas Nichols is the BDI Associate Head (Innovation and Training), Professor of Neuroimaging Statistics and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science. He is a statistician with a solitary focus on modelling and inference methods for brain imaging research. He has a unique background, with both industrial and academic experience, and diverse training including computer science, cognitive neuroscience and statistics.

For any questions, please contact Dr Federica Lucivero.