Maths in the City Alumni Network Debate
Held on 22 September 2010 at the Royal Society
The Mathematical Institute was delighted to host the Oxford Mathematicians in the City Network Debate, which was held at the Royal Society, London. This unparalleled gathering of faculty, students and alumni from across the range of the financial industry gathered to address the motion that “The more effective use of Mathematics would make a major contribution to averting future financial crises.”
Following an introduction by Chairman Peter Jay, former British Ambassador to Washington and Economics Editor to the BBC, Professor Terry Lyons spoke in favour of the motion, while Professor John Kay opposed it. This was followed by a lively floor debate, punctuated with analogies ranging from weather forecasting to travelling by bus! The discussion drew upon the extensive expertise of the audience, who demonstrated a great deal of interest and passion in the subject.
The result was a narrow victory in favour of the proposition, although several participants expressed their appreciation of both views. This evening also helped to underline the important role of academia in informing future developments in the financial industry. Guests were also able to view the architect’s model of the new Mathematical Institute building, which will provide an inspiring single location for the mathematical community. Fundraising for the new building is underway.