Revisiting the methodology of Actuarial Science

Craig Turnbull, the actuary and author of A History of British Actuarial Thought, will present his recent research on the methodology of actuarial science. The presentation will survey some topics in the philosophy of science and consider what insights they can offer when they are applied to fields of actuarial science. This analysis will highlight the natural epistemic limits to the modelling of phenomena of actuarial interest, and the corresponding need for professional skill and judgement that this creates. Interestingly, this perspective serves as a caution against indiscriminate positivistic actuarial use of models and suggests some areas where positivist approach could be gainfully deployed instead.

Craig Turnbull is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (FIA). He serves on the IFoA's Research and Thought Leadership Board and chairs the IFoA’s Equity Release Mortgages Working Party. Craig is the author of the 2017 book, A History of British Actuarial Thought, and has published several actuarial papers, mainly on economic risk, capital and valuation in insurance and pensions and, more recently, on methodology. He is the winner of the IFoA’s 2013 Peter Clark Prize for Best Paper. Craig has held senior positions in consulting, software and asset management firms and now works as an independent consulting actuary.

Andrew Smith is an Assistant Professor of Actuarial Science at University College Dublin, where he specialises in finance, stochastic modelling, and the statistics of extreme events. Prior to this he was a partner in Deloitte Consulting for 15 years, where he worked in life insurance, property-casualty insurance, banking and the development of economic scenario generators. He has published widely on insurance and pensions matters and is an active member of several Institute of Actuaries working parties.

James Guszcza is a 2020-21 fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Jim has worked as data scientist for two decades and is the first person to be designated Deloitte’s U.S. Chief Data Scientist, is a former professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison business school, and holds a PhD in philosophy from The University of Chicago. He serves on the scientific advisory board of the Psychology of Technology Institute.

12/1/2020 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM