The Data for Policy Conference is over for another year. In a highly successful online format, the Conference ran from 15 – 17 September, and hosted over 100 speakers and 200 attendees from around the world. Themes were broad-ranging including consideration of data governance and quality, the ethics of data use and data technologies applied to areas such as sustainable development, smart cities and the Covid-19 pandemic. Comprehensive social media coverage ensured a lively conversation after each session #dataforpolicy2020

Keynote lectures proved highly popular, with Professor David Hand’s lecture ‘Dark Data’ highlighting the importance of the data that we don’t know. Professor Alessandro Vespignani provided insights into large-scale data driven models for infectious disease threats in his lecture ‘Computational Epidemiology at the time of Covid-19’. In our final lecture, ‘Philosophy and Ethics of Brain-Inspired AI’ Professor Yi Zeng delved into the philosophical foundations of approaches to AI.

Three plenary sessions featured an array of panellists from a variety of backgrounds. In the opening plenary, panellists discussed the relevance of data use for public value. Our partner organisation, Cambridge University Press hosted a panel to consider how interactions between data and policy could be produced and shared to achieve impact. In the closing plenary, the panel debated pertinent issues of inequality.

Participants in the Conference commented on the smart and interesting papers and presentations, the international scope, the depth and breadth of the presenters, as well as the excellent organisation.

The Conference Programme is available at

Pre-recorded presentations from Conference speakers are available here: