Mark is a UK-based public policy specialist with experience that bridges management consulting, academic research, running a government-funded policy unit and also heading-up a science diplomacy unit. His consulting and academic research work focuses on science and innovation policy and also on the ways in which governments can improve their ability to cope with uncertainty and risk.
Mark is particularly interested in the ways in which the modern ‘business-like’ management ethos adopted in the public sector has increased risk-aversion and restricted the capacity to learn-by-doing in governance - decreasing cost-effectiveness as a result.
He is currently exploring the use of analytical techniques derived from information theory and Bayesian inference as the basis for developing a set of generic tools that help governments to deliver their distinctive role as uncertainty and risk managers of ‘last resort’ (i.e., intelligence-related methods that support rapid and complex decision making when there is sparse and ambiguous information rather than robust evidence).
Mark is currently writing a book for Routledge that covers these issues as part of a critical appraisal of the role of innovation in public sector reform. In addition to practicing as a management consultant he has research affiliations with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Australian Centre for Biosecurity and Environmental Economics (AC BEE), and with the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.
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