A Manifesto for Democratically Accountable Modelling

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Bruce Edmonds
Bruce Edmonds signed this petition

Policy Actors (politicians, ministers, advisers, etc.) are increasingly facing complex problems – situations whose complexity surpasses the human mind to comprehend in all its detail. One response in such situations is to use complex models to get some leverage on it and enable the exploration of options. The problem with this is that, if an actor trusts a model, they derogate to a model they do not fully understand. In such circumstances it is essential that other researchers can fully inspect, try out and generally check such models.

A start example is the of COVID19, where policy is based (at least to some extent) on some epidemiological models. Policy that has affected the whole population.

We, the undersigned ask that all complex models (mathematical or computational) that is used to inform policy should be open to public scrutiny, especially by other experts - including their documentation and full source code (so they can be tried out and tested). The full text of the manifesto is at: https://damcampaign.wordpress.com/manifesto/