As the end of 2022 approaches, I’m looking back at what’s been going on at LML and can report that we have a few big things to celebrate.
In 2022 LML received the most generous gift in its history so far, in the form of our current office building, from a long-time supporter who chooses to remain anonymous. LML now lives in its own beautiful permanent home in West London. Apart from our offices, for those of you who don’t know, the building includes two apartments to house visitors to the lab. These apartments were submerged in the 2021 summer floods in London and had to be completely gutted and rebuilt, a process which lasted well into the second half of 2022. But they are now sparkling new and raring to go (if that’s what apartments do).
Baillie-Gifford have renewed and doubled their financial support for research into Ergodicity Economics at LML. This means we will broaden the program as it gathers momentum.
I’m deeply grateful to the visionary individuals behind these developments as of course to all of you who are supporting LML.
As the pandemic recedes, we are now putting these resources to good use. From September till November 2022 we hosted the first visitor in the restored apartments. Dominik Baumann spent three months at LML chatting with us to adapt EE optimization algorithms to reinforcement learning tasks, resulting in a virtual robot bounding into the distance at breakneck speed.
LML’s Science on Screen collaboration with the Barbican was back in full swing this year, with Rosemary Harris finishing her final season organizing the program. Well done and thank you so much, Rosemary! The 2023 season is already in preparation, and Rosemary has handed over to newly minted LML Fellow Andrea Taroni. The first event on 7 February 2023 will be a screening of GATTACA, presented by Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief of Nature.
In another bit of handover news, Jan-Peter Onstwedder, LML Trustee from day one, has left the board as he moved away from the UK, and Ben Yeoh has kindly agreed to step into his position. Two more people I couldn’t be happier to count among the friends of LML. Thank you both!
LML Fellow Erica Thompson published her book “Escape from Model Land”, the writing of which LML had supported over the last few years. We all came along to celebrate the launch, and then got stuck on the Piccadilly line home.
LML’s Novo-Nordisk sponsored experimental collaboration with the Copenhagen group at DRCMR continued apace, with a beautiful culture clash of experimentalists and theorists. My theorist’s heart stopped at several points along the journey thinking what had been done simply couldn’t work. But so far, the experimentalists’ daring has turned out to be surprisingly innocuous.
Many smaller and larger bits of thinking, writing, and videoing happened (do check out ergodicity.tv), and we’re in the final stages of preparing the third Ergodicity Economics conference, EE2023. There’s still time to sign up, which I urge you to do! The program is immensely exciting this year. Stephanie Kelton will be our keynote speaker, and both the bounding robot and the daring experimentalists will feature in their respective sessions.
I’ll end here to rush out for some final Christmas presents, wishing you all Merry Christmas and the very best for 2023!