David Spiegelhalter has been Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge since October 2007, which he combines with being a Senior Scientist in the MRC Biostatistics Unit. His background is in medical statistics, with an emphasis on Bayesian methods: his MRC team developed the BUGS software which has become the primary platform for applying modern Bayesian analysis using simulation technology. He has worked on clinical trials and drug safety and consulted and taught in a number of pharmaceutical companies, and also collaborates on developing methods for health technology assessment applicable to organisations such as NICE. His interest in performance monitoring led to his being asked to lead the statistical team in the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, and he also gave evidence to the Shipman Inquiry.
In his post he leads a small team which attempts to improve the way in which the quantitative aspects of risk and uncertainty are discussed in society. The website UnderstandingUncertainty.org features a wide range of resources, and he works closely with the Millennium Mathematics Project in trying to bring risk and uncertainty into education. He gives many presentations to schools and others, advises organisations on risk communication, and is a regular newspaper columnist on current risk issues.
He was elected FRS in 2005 and awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to medical statistics.