Professor Nigel Gilbert CBE

Dr Professor Nigel Gilbert CBE holds a distinguished chair in Computational Social Science having been a Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey. Nigel brings a fascinating insight into how IT an help us understand society. His prolific output includes Agent-based Models (Sage Publications 2008); a technique used to model behaviours such as clustering of populations, the dynamics of opinions in society and the operation of the housing market.   

Nigel is a polymath.  He wanted to do computer science at university but nobody was offering such a degree yet so he studied engineering at Cambridge with management studies thrown in, Nigel’s first program was for his father, a biophysical chemist, helping him understand through simulation how haemoglobin picks up and releases oxygen in the blood.  This around the time that Crick and Watson were building computer models (and note the parallels with Dennis Noble).  He was a lecturer in sociology at York University and joined the newly formed University of Surrey as part of a small sociology department in 1976.  He made a name for himself using a microcomputer to cut through the complexity of rules for social security benefits that were beyond human comprehension.  As a result the topic was  in the Alvey project. 

Sian Cleary

Sian Cleary has used the Archives of IT and other sources to write her MA dissertation on Government policy towards IT from 1992 to 1997, the years of John Major’s prime ministership.  In the archive she discovered the pivotal work of Professor Stephen Temple CBE in getting a European policy, driven by the UK, for single mobile network.  She also admired the work of Charles Hughes who, after a long career at ICL and others, played a vital role in the Information Society Initiative by Government in association with Ian Taylor, MP and MBE, another contributor to the archive.