Durham Inspired: Live in Lockdown
Cosmology and Cancer
Understanding Dark Matter And Improving Healthcare with Astrostatistics
Wednesday 19 May, 6pm (BST)

Unlike most scientists, astronomers do not design their own experiments. Their laboratory is the Universe. Astronomers observe, study, and seek to further understand what they see.

In many other scientific disciplines, for example medical research, an experiment is designed, conducted and analysed from beginning to middle to end. Astronomers have been able to develop and apply very different statistical methods, due to the unique way that they work. This has become known as ‘astrostatistics’.


The era of ‘big data’ has changed the landscape of many scientific fields, including medical research. The mass digitisation of datasets like hospital and patient records provide vast amounts of information that, if studied appropriately, can dramatically improve healthcare systems and patient outcomes. These data sets do not come from a carefully designed experiment. They just exist – much like the data of the Universe.


Dr James Nightingale will be joining us to discuss how astronomers at Durham University are working with UK healthcare professionals to share their insights and experience in in performing experiments they did not themselves design.

We will hear about two ambitious projects: to understand the fundamental ingredients of the Universe, dark matter, and improve the treatment of cancer for NHS patients, and how the field of astrostatistics is at the heart of this collaboration.

Event Selection
Part of the Durham Inspired Live in Lockdown event series
19 May 2021 at 18:00
Guestlist is not currently available for this event

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