The Alan Turing Institute Announces First Chief Scientist

The Alan Turing Institutes is delighted to announce Professor Mark Girolami as its first Chief Scientist.

The appointment of Professor Girolami to this newly created role comes at a critical moment for UK science and technology, following the UK government’s first ever National AI Strategy launched last week, with a new ten-year plan to make the UK a global AI superpower.

The Chief Scientist for the UK’s national institute for data science and AI will have responsibility for the creation and delivery of the Institute’s scientific and innovation strategy, as well as its approach to ethics and responsible innovation.

Professor Girolami is the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Cambridge where he also holds the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Data Centric Engineering (DCE). He is a research leader whose expertise uniquely spans the main data science and AI disciplines of computing science, statistical science, applied mathematics, and engineering. He has held senior academic professorial posts in some of the UK’s world leading universities, and in addition, he brings a wealth of industrial, business, and commercial experience having worked for a decade with IBM.

Since 2016 Professor Girolami has been Programme Director for DCE at the Turing where he has inspired and led the national and international teams pioneering the emerging DCE discipline that is transforming engineering science and its professional practice across all sectors. Under his leadership, DCE is becoming a global phenomenon, with the inaugural global DCEng Summit drawing international expert speakers from over 70 countries.

Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser:

“Warm congratulations to Mark Girolami for being appointed as the first Chief Scientist for The Alan Turing Institute at what is a pivotal moment for AI and data science in the UK. I have no doubt that the creation of this role will help ensure the Institute retains its position as the UK’s national centre for AI and data science and accelerate science and technology in this country. I look forward to continuing our work with the Turing and with Mark in his new role.”

Professor Girolami:

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to become the Turing’s first Chief Scientist and, in this role, provide the required leadership to accomplish the Institute’s mission of making great leaps in data science and AI research and innovation in order to change the world for the better. 

“In setting the strategic direction for the Institute, we will provide a model of how safe and ethical data science and AI can build long term strengths and benefits for society and the economy, and support the UK’s needs and broader ambition to be a global leader in this space.  Linked to this will be our research approach to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) – a key part of the Turing’s new EDI strategy.”