The public policy programme works alongside policy makers to explore how data-driven public service provision and policy innovation might solve long running ‘wicked’ policy problems and to develop the ethical foundations for the use of data science and artificial intelligence in policy-making.

Our aim is to contribute to the Institute's mission – to make great leaps in data science and artificial intelligence research in order to change the world for the better – by developing research, tools, and techniques that have a positive impact on the lives of as many people as possible.

Programme challenges

The public policy programme has four challenges.

Use data science and artificial intelligence to inform policy-making

In a world of changing and interlinked policy measures, data science and AI can provide policy makers with unprecedented insight: from identifying policy priorities by modelling complex systems and scenarios, to evaluating hard-to-measure policy outcomes. Our aim is to equip policy makers across all levels of government with the tools they need to not only design effective public policy, but also to track and measure policy impacts.


Improve the provision of public services

Governments today are major holders of data which data science and AI can harness to improve the design and provision of public services. The public policy programme brings researchers and policy makers together in order to develop innovative ways to provide public services. Our aim is to change everyday life for the better: from allocating resources in the fairest and most transparent way, to designing personalised public services that are tailored to people's individual needs and situations.


Build ethical foundations for the use of data science and AI in policy-making

Understanding the ethical and societal implications of data science is one of The Alan Turing Institute's key research priorities. Our Data Ethics Group leads research in this area. The public policy programme will work with the Data Ethics Group to develop the ethical foundations for the use of data science and AI in policy-making, with the aim of securing the benefits and addressing the risks these technologies pose.


Contribute to policy that governs the use of data science and AI

The effects of data science and AI on society are already being felt, and their impact will only grow in the years to come. Our aim is to ensure that this impact is as beneficial and equitable as possible. The public policy programme will work with policy makers to develop well-crafted laws and sensible regulation, using the ethical principles and norms developed with the Data Ethics Group that clarify the socially acceptable uses of these powerful technologies.


Policy submission: House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee Inquiry: Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy

Call for Evidence

The UK life sciences sector is high-tech, research-intensive, diverse and innovative. A strong life sciences sector can simultaneously benefit the UK’s economy and help improve the nation’s health. This inquiry investigated issues such as whether the Government has the necessary structures in place to support the life sciences sector; how the NHS can use procurement to stimulate innovation and the contents of the forthcoming new life sciences industrial strategy. A Call for Evidence was made on 20 July 2017.

Summary of the Turing’s submission

The response addresses questions 2 and 12 of the Call for Evidence, concerning how to stimulate innovation in the life sciences sector, and how to improve collaboration between researchers and the NHS, respectively.

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Contact info

For more information, please contact the public policy programme's team at:

[email protected]