Meet the Speakers

Allison Schrager

Award-winning journalist and author of An Economist Walks into a Brothel.
Allison Schrager is an economist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners, LLC, a risk advisory firm. She is the author of An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk. 

Allison diversified her career by working in finance, policy, and media. She led retirement product innovation at Dimensional Fund Advisors and consulted to international organizations, including the OECD and IMF. She has been a regular contributor to the Economist, Reuters, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Her writing has also appeared in Playboy, Wired, National Review and Foreign Affairs. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in economics from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.


Jamie Bartlett is the author of three books: The People Vs Tech (2018) about data and democracies (Winner of the 2019 Transmission Prize), Radicals (2017) about political outsiders and the best-selling The Dark Net (2014) about internet subcultures. His books have been translated into 15 languages. He founded the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he specialised in online social movements and using machine learning to study the impact of technology on society. He is a regular commentator on national and international media outlets, and a regular writer on technology for The Spectator.
Jamie’s TED talk ‘How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream’ has been watched almost 5 million times. His main topics are cyber security and privacy online, new political movements, social media research and analysis, and internet cultures.

In 2017 Jamie presented the two-part BBC TWO documentary series ‘The Secrets of Silicon Valley’ about how technology was changing politics and society, including Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 US election. In 2019 he wrote and presented the hit BBC podcast series ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’ which exposed the biggest ever cryptocurrency.

Nicola Anderson

Chief Executive Officer of FinTech Scotland
Nicola Anderson is the Chief Executive Officer of FinTech Scotland. FinTech Scotland is a strategic enabler and independent cluster management organisation focused on supporting the development and inclusive growth of a fintech cluster across the financial services sector and the wider digital economy.

Kenneth Baillie

Snr. Clinical Research Fellow in Anaesthesia & Critical Care, The University of Edinburgh
Kenneth Baillie graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc(Hons) in Physiology in 1999 and MBChB in 2002. He completed basic training in medicine in Glasgow, and in anesthesia in Edinburgh. During this time he led a series of high altitude research projects in Bolivia, and founded a high-altitude research charity, Apex. 

 After completing clinical training in 2014 he worked as a visiting scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, before returning to the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh to establish a research program in translational applications of genomics in critical care medicine. He works as a consultant in the intensive care unit at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. During the Covid outbreak in 2020-21, he led the UK-wide GenOMICC and ISARIC4C studies, and contributed to the design and delivery of the RECOVERY trial. He discovered new biological mechanisms underlying critical illness in Covid, and contributed to the discovery of effective drug treatments to reduce mortality.

kath Bassett

PhD candidate in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh
Kath is a qualitative researcher and ethnographer broadly interested in exploring practices, processes, and the heterogenous materiality associated with space and placemaking. Her thesis and forthcoming publications explore the ways in which the locative platform, TripAdvisor mediates touristic placemaking through a case study which centres on Edinburgh's Harry Potter tourism scene, and which is illustrative of a setting in which algorithmic navigation is essential to maintaining and/or establishing one's touristic service in time and space. During the pandemic and in the context of the COVID ARCADIA project (associated with the Edinburgh's Futures Institute) she has taken an interest in the ways in which the social media platform Instagram has been used and depended upon by small, independent businesses to communicate and mobilise 'pivots' and as one part of their efforts to maintain themselves in a context characterised by everchanging circumstances.

Lisa Boden

Professor of Population Medicine and Veterinary Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh
Professor Boden is based in the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security; current President of the European College of Veterinary Public Health ( and Deputy Director of EPIC (Scottish Government’s Centre for Expertise in Animal Disease Outbreaks at which provides policymakers with rapid access to emergency scientific advice and analyses to prepare for and respond to exotic and novel animal disease outbreaks. Professor Boden is leading a programme of One Health research in the global north, and in fragile and conflict affected regions (such as Syria and surrounding countries- see One Health FIELD Network) to improve preparedness and timely response to global health and food security threats. Her interests in AMR focus on legal and ethical elements of AMR policy development.

Mark Byrne

Managing Director, Accenture Applied intelligence
Mark Byrne is the Managing Director for Accenture's Applied intelligence business in Scotland, having spent the last 15 years helping leading businesses across industries including financial services, pharmaceuticals, and media develop and implement data and analytics strategies to transformation their businesses. Mark lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two boys and enjoys walking in the Scottish highlands in his spare time.

Murray Collins

Co-founder and CEO of Space Intelligence Ltd
Murray Collins is the co-founder and CEO of Space Intelligence Ltd. The company supports Nature Based Solutions projects around the world, by providing landcover and Above Ground Biomass and Carbon mapping information, derived from the analysis of satellite data using ML and AI. Murray is also a Chancellor's Fellow in Data Driven Innovation at the University of Edinburgh, and Space Lead at the Bayes Centre, where he established the University's Space and Satellite Innovation Programme. 

Murray has undertaken fieldwork across the tropics including Sulawesi, Sumatra, Cambodia, Gabon and Sierra Leone; and has published on both technical and policy aspects of forest conservation in journals from Nature Climate Change, Scientific Reports and Biogeosciences. He holds an interdisciplinary PhD from the London School of Economics and Institute of Zoology, ZSL; and MSc in Conservation Science (with Distinction) from Imperial College London.

David Dockrell

Infectious Disease clinician scientist and Chair of Infection Medicine at the University of Edinburgh
David graduated from Trinity College Dublin and spent postgraduate time in the Mayo Clinic and UCSF. His research focuses on macrophage immune responses to respiratory bacteria and to HIV. His clinical interests focus on HIV including Opportunistic Infections and Medical Complications in People Living with HIV. He is a former Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow and Leads the SHIELD MRC consortium which aims to develop host-based therapy to combat antimicrobial resistance . He has been an author or editor of several practice guidelines including the BHIVA Guidelines on Opportunistic Infection.

Jarmo Eskelinen

Executive Director of the Data Driven Innovation programme, University of Edinburgh
Jarmo Eskelinen is a smart city and open data expert with a background in architecture, digital media and urban events. He is based in the University of Edinburgh as the Executive Director of the Data Driven Innovation programme, a 15-year, £660m initiative spanning ten industry domains and which is part of the £1.3bn Edinburgh City Region Deal.

Ross Fitzgerald

Director of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases and Professor of Molecular Bacteriology at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.
After completing PhD and post-doctoral training in Trinity College, Dublin, and the NIH, USA he established a research group at the University of Edinburgh investigating the biology of major bacterial pathogens including Staphylococci and Legionella. His group is combining genomics and functional analyses to understand how new pathogens emerge, spread and cause disease. A major goal is the translation of fundamental discoveries into novel approaches to controlling infectious disease such as diagnostics and vaccines.

Roger Halliday

Chief Statistician of the Scottish Government & interim CEO at Research Data Scotland
Roger Halliday started as Chief Statistician of the Scottish Government in November 2011. Before that, he worked in the Department of Health in England as a policy analyst managing evidence for decision making across NHS issues.

He qualified with a degree in statistics in 1993 from St. Andrews University and joined the Department of Social Security as an assistant statistician. He worked for spells at the Department of Health in England and in a number of statistical and policy making roles at the Scottish Government before leaving in 2005. His areas of expertise are around children, learning, skills and the economy, as well as in health.

Tina Harrison

Professor of Financial Services Marketing and Consumption, University of Edinburgh
Tina’s research explores consumers and their use of financial services, with a view to understanding how to improve effective consumer behaviours, equip consumers to deal with the complexities of financial matters and improve financial wellbeing. Recent research includes a focus on young adult financial capability and financial education comprising several projects with Money and Pension Service and Young Enterprise to test and evaluate the impact of financial education interventions on young peoples’ financial knowledge and skills, and a current focus on the use of open banking data and Fintech applications for financial wellbeing. She was Editor of Palgrave’s Journal of Financial Services Marketing for 18 years until 2019, and is author of several books on financial services marketing topics.

She is a member of the Fintech Scotland Consumer Panel and the Money and Pensions Service’s Research and Evaluation Group, and an Advisory Board member of FSMarTech, an new online community helping the financial services industry optimise investment in marketing technology to improve customer experiences.

Ross Houston

Personal Chair of Aquaculture Genetics and Deputy Director (Translation and Commercialisation)
The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
Ross Houston's research team focuses on genetics and genome editing technologies in aquaculture species. His primary research interests include (i) development and application of genomic tools for aquaculture species, including sequencing and functional annotation of genomes; (ii) genomic selection for commercially relevant traits in breeding programmes, with a focus on disease resistance; and (iii) optimising and applying CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in vitro and in vivo to pinpoint functional disease resistance alleles.

Ross has been amongst the first to develop key underpinning genomic tools for several major aquaculture species. He has also studied genomic selection for several fish and shellfish species, including studying genotype imputation approaches improve cost-efficiency. His discovery of a major quantitative trait locus explaining almost all the genetic variation in resistance to Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis in salmon has been widely applied in the salmon breeding industry to control this disease.

Luke Howard

Projects Officer, Plan Vivo Foundation
Luke Howard works for the Plan Vivo Foundation – A charity and certification body on the Voluntary Carbon Market with over 20 years of experience that helps direct private financing to projects that benefit the climate, biodiversity and social wellbeing of communities in the global south. During his time at the organisation, Luke has helped to assess and certify projects, whilst also developing and maintaining strategic partnerships within Plan Vivo's technical and market-facing network. He has also been supporting the update of the Plan Vivo Standard to ensure the ongoing robustness and accessibility of nature-based projects.

Prior to Plan Vivo, Luke came from an environmental and ecological background, with an MSc in Environmental Protection & Management from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford.

Susan Krumdieck

Co-Founder and Director, Islands Centre for Net Zero, Heriot-Watt University
Professor Krumdieck’s Energy Transition Engineering research and teaching since 2000 at Canterbury University in New Zealand focused on developing the engineering methods, data and modelling tools and innovative technologies for adaptation to reduced fossil fuel production and consumption. She is an expert in developing new ideas for achieving decarbonization in transportation activity systems, renewable energy development and urban regeneration of buildings for creating integrated activity systems. Her visionary contributions involve downshifting the need for fossil fuels in the urban built environment and transportation activity systems by developing new GIS-based data and modelling methods that combine diverse aspects of urban systems.

David lee

Event Host, Writer, Editor and Communications adviser
David Lee is an experienced event host who has embraced the changes of 2020 by re-shaping his business to focus on online events. He has already hosted almost 30 events, from webinars and panel discussions and both half and full-day online conferences - on subjects including fintech, forestry, legal affairs, mental health, data and Covid-19 economic recovery.

David is also a writer, editor and communications adviser. He worked with the University of Edinburgh's Data Driven Innovation programme on a 2020 data series, featuring online panel discussions, interviews and podcasts. He also edited The Scotsman's Doing Data Together supplement, following the success of Doing Data Right in 2019, and is currently working on a series of data podcasts for The Scotsman.

Samantha Lycett

Infection & Immunity Division, The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
Dr Samantha Lycett is a Senior Lecturer / Group Leader in Pathogen Phylodynamics, at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. From an initial background in physics and signal processing, research interests are now in evolution and epidemiology of viruses and bacteria in animal and zoonotic disease systems using advanced computational, bioinformatic and phylogenetic modelling techniques. Dr Lycett uses sequence data and other epidemiological data to investigate and develop phylodynamic and phylogeographic models. Current active research projects in several pathogens, including fast evolving RNA viruses and DNA viruses, and host adaptations, effect of escape mutations, and evolution of virulence. Dr Lycett has been working on SARS-CoV-2 spread and evolution in the human population using global and COG-UK sequence data since 2020.

Tynah Matembe

Founder & CEO of MoneyMatiX
Tynah Matembe is the Founder & CEO of MoneyMatiX, a personal development company that helps families understand money and acquire life skills to maximise the potential and income of adults so that they can model healthy habits for their children. Using tailored workshops and tools designed with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in mind to ensure marginalised groups have access to fairer financial services.

Tynah is an entrepreneur at heart having participated in running a successful 39-year-old family business from her youth. She's also a Saltire fellow, a chartered banker and a lawyer by training. With extensive corporate experience in financial services and internationally working for organisations such as the United Nations. Tynah is a mother of 2 lovely pre-teens and a keynote speaker on Financial wellbeing, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion, Property Investment and Teaching children about money. She was named Most Inspirational Scottish Female FinTech Leader for 2019 and MoneyMatiX continues to receive nominations and recognition for its role in transforming the lives of diverse communities.

Peter Mathieson

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh
Professor Peter Mathieson MBBS(Hons)(London), PhD(Cambridge), FRCP(London), FMedSci assumed the office of Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in February 2018. He was formerly the 15th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong.

Previous posts include: foundation Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Bristol, Honorary Consultant Nephrologist, North Bristol NHS Trust, Head of the University Department of Clinical Science at North Bristol, Director of Research & Development for the North Bristol NHS Trust, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bristol.

Liz McAreavey

Chief Executive Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce
Liz was appointed CEO of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in 2016 following 6 years in various senior roles at the Chamber. Liz sits on a range of civic boards in the city including The Edinburgh City Vision Steering Group, The Festivals Forum, The Edinburgh Development Forum, The Strategic Implementation Group and the Economic Advisory Panel. She also chairs the Edinburgh COP26 Advisory Group

Liz is also a member of the Business Creation and Growth Mission of the Enterprise and Skills Strategy Board and a member of the Land Use Taskforce. She became a Governor of Fettes College in 2019 and most recently was appointed to the International Advisory Board at the University of Edinburgh Business School and a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

joshua Ryan-Saha

Director, Traveltech for Scotland
Joshua is the Director of Traveltech for Scotland, a business cluster organisation getting behind Scotland’s Traveltech pioneers. He works at the University of Edinburgh where he leads on the application of data-driven innovation for the tourism and festival sectors. He previously worked at The Data Lab where he led programmers to improve data science skills across Scotland. He joined from Nesta where he established the £10m Longitude Prize, that featured on BBC Horizon’s 50th Anniversary Episode. Prior to joining Nesta in October 2013, Joshua worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina developing and delivering projects related to constitutional reform and reconciliation.

Christine Tait-Burkard

Group Leader, The Roslin Institute
Christine Tait- Burkard is a group leader at The Roslin Institute/University of Edinburgh and an expert on coronaviruses and arteriviruses. Her research focuses on understanding how porcine and zoonotic viruses interact with their hosts and how this understanding can be used to identify genetic susceptibility/resistance and develop diagnostics and treatments. Braving the split between human and animal viruses and technologies Christine is, for example, involved in the generation of genome edited pigs resistant towards one of the most costly pig viruses but also part of the IMI CARE consortium aiming to identify and repurpose drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection causing COVID-19.
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