Are you uncertain?

This is a question we asked many times last Saturday when the Uncertainty Show was given for the first time.

The show relies on people coming up on stage trying to be uncertain.

They compete against a computer, theory or others.

A lot of people tried our computer games about uncertainty.

Ivette, Maria, Ullrika and Rasmus – happy after making so many people uncertain.

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Open PhD position in decision theory and environmental management

The research Group Uncertainty and Evidence Lab at the Centre of Environmental and Climate Research are looking for a suitable candidate for a new PhD position.

The aim of the PhD project will to study the importance of uncertainty in environmental management. This includes the treatment of uncertainty into scientific assessments and considering in what way decision makers respond to uncertainty. The impact of uncertainty will be studied by ecological-economic modelling focusing in solving environmental decision problems. The project includes a case-study on geese management in agricultural landscapes, representing a spatial-temporal ecological-economic system with several and different types of agents, both human (farmers) as well as ecological agents (geese).

Read more here about the position and how to apply.

Last day to apply is October 1st 2018.

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Premiere of the mini-show “The art of being uncertain” at Lund University Science Festival 15th of sept 2018

The art of being uncertain is the name of our new mini-show, which has its premiere on September the 15th at the Lund University Science Festival.

This years logo for the uncertainty show


Through games and challenges, you will learn more about different ways to express uncertainty and how uncertainty influences us as human beings.

This is an attempt to reach out with the fascinating stuff and important things to know about uncertainty. The people behind the show are Ullrika Sahlin and Rasmus Bååth.

The program for the Science festival Naturvetarstråket contains a lot of activites for a curious mind.

There will be possibilities to play games about uncertainty. These games are available on Android from google app store. The apps are found by searching for UncertainGames. There are five English (Quiztimate, BeanGuesser, ProbabilityGuess, Probability Bee and FrequencyGuesser) and one Swedish game (Gisso).

The games are also possible to download for windows and mac.


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4th Nordic Chapter Risk conference in Norway Nov 8-9

Exploring the risk, safety, security and resilience nexus

Risk, safety, security and resilience analysis and management are founded on similar ideas and perspectives: avoiding or reducing the negative consequences of hazardous events and threats, exploring system weaknesses, and identifying policies and actions to mitigate or resolve such weaknesses. However, current research and practices in these areas are to a large extent disconnected and rooted in separated ‘schools’, providing guidance in different directions.  For instance, many researchers, practitioners and organisations have called for a shift from risk to resilience. In what ways, however, may risk and resilience represent conflicting perspectives? Or could it be argued that resilience analysis is a main strategy within risk management? Efforts have been made to develop more unified approaches and methods, but how best to proceed to change the current situation?

The conference theme addresses the risk, safety, security and resilience nexus. We seek contributions that can provide new insights on this topic, in particular theories, principles, approaches and methods that can enhance the development of more integrated perspectives.

The 4th SRA Nordic Chapter conference aims to explore the status quo and the future directions of risk research. The conference wishes to harness its broad, interdisciplinary expertise by gathering researchers from academic institutions and practitioners from the risk, safety, security and resilience communities. We intend to build networks and discuss the most pressing issues within this area of research. The conference gathers academics, policy makers, and other professionals interested in risk research, policy, and practice.

The conference is organised in collaboration with ESRA Norway. We are pleased to announce that all participants at this conference will automatically become members of SRA worldwide and SRA Europe!

For additional nformation about the conference (including instructions for submitting abstracts), please see the conference website.

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Opportunities to dive into uncertainty

Uncertainty is more important than ever. Not only are problems of today more complex and urgent, but there is also a need to combine different types of knowledge and weight things together. In order to give scientific advice we must train our ability to state what we dont know.

The uncertainty and evidence lab are working on taking these type of questions seriously.

Games as measuring instruments

The games to explain what it means to express uncertainty have been developed further into not only amusement and teaching but also as measurement instruments of peoples ability to express their own uncertainty.

We have started to explore the possibility to makes the games available for phones to improve testing and their use for research. Two versions are on Google app store: Probability bee and quiztimate. So far there are only solutions for Android up and running.

Take part of the discussion

Many risk Conferences bring up the issue of uncertainty. Such as this one. Will I see you there?

Keep posted


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Working from home

We are approaching the time of the year to writing applications for the Swedish research councils VR and FORMAS. We all have our tricks to get the opportunity to focus and bring those ideas on a piece of paper (literary). Today I skip commuting and I work from home. Started with a nice walk after leaving my son at the school bus.The sun was rising in a fog and I took the walk around the woods.

Back, I have the opportunity to use my nice and sunny room.

Countryside is both good and bad. Nature is close, but one travels a lot to activities, friends and work. In May, the permanent telephone will be removed for good (and I live in a very populated part of Sweden). Unless we dig down a cable, the only option is mobile internet. But first I have to finish those research applications.


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Reflections on stakeholder interaction

Today I gave a talk at the CEC Fellows meeting on Lessons learnt from interacting with stakeholders. I shared reflections on three interactions I have been involved with:

  • Honey bees: bee health, pesticides and pollination
  • Invasive species: risk assessment and signal crayfish
  • Uncertainty in scientific assessments: understand and quantify!

The slides of my talk are found here: Sahlin_Lessons learnt from interacting with stakeholders_public

Ways to reach a systematic and science-based approach to stakeholder interaction may be to provide opportunities to learn from experience of interaction, help you to identify what type of interaction you want to work with and how much, and stimulate scientific discussion on interaction (science dialogue, communication, knowledge production, …).


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Master thesis: Can drones improve detection and treatment of potato late blight?

Early detection and recommendation of higher precision in treatment of late blight in potato crops by using drone photos is the title of a Master Thesis by Anna Lindéus at the Risk Master program at Lund University (LTH). It has been developed in a collaboration with the Centre of Environmental and Climate research and Vultus. The supervisors have been Ullrika Sahlin (CEC) and Abdalla Eltayeb (Vultus).

The thesis was presented Friday 26th at 10.00 in V:Brand 3th floor, V-building, LTH, Lund.

Photo: A Lindeus

Description in Swedish:

Förekomsten av bladmögel hos potatis har varit och är ett globalt problem. Bladmögel orsakade t.ex. den förödande hungersnöden på Irland i mitten av 1800-talet. I dag besprutas potatisodlingar med stora mängder bekämpningsmedel, i form av fungicider, i förebyggande syfte för att motverka bladmögel.

Genom att försöka undvika onödiga och överflödiga fungicidbehandlingar, kommer det att minska kostnaderna för brukarna samt gynna miljön. Forskning pågår för att försöka optimera användningen av fungicider. Det finns redan flera beslutsstödsystem som ger rekommendationer gällande hantering av bladmögel. Dessa beslutsstödsystem använder modeller som försöker förutspå risken för mögelangrepp, som framförallt är baserade på väderdata. Fjärranalys och drönarfoto används för precisionsodling, vilket är ett sätt att minska kostnader och miljöpåverkan.

The influence diagram of the decisions to use drones and to spray with fungicides.

I detta arbete har en riskmodell utvecklats för att förutse risken för bladmögel, baserad på väderdata och drönarfoto. Riskmodellen har integrerats i en beslutsanalys för att undersöka om det är kostnadseffektivt att använda drönare för att upptäcka mögel. En känslighetsanalys med fiktiva värden för kostander visar att det man vinner i känslighet mot huruvida det finns mögel eller ej är svårt att uppväga mot möjliga förluster i potatisskörden, särskilt när kostand för drönarfoton är hög. Det skulle kunna gå att hitta strategier där drönare ger mervärde om de kan minska kostnad för applicering av fungicider.

Vi planerar ta arbetet ett steg till och göra en något mer avancerad modell som ser på beslut och utveckling av mögel vid flera tillfällen och som bygger på mer data från fältförsök och drönarfoton.

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Bayesian Analysis and Decision Theory Spring 2018

A graduate course in Bayesian Analysis and Decision Theory

This course is hosted by the research school ClimBEco and is open for anyone.

Registration is closed

The course has three physical meetings during spring 2018: 13-14 March, 20-21 March, 10-11 April badt_2018_schedule_15feb

This course is worth 5 credits –  Course Syllabus

Bayesian methods are used for inference, modelling of complex data, model calibration, and integration of multiple sources of information, combination of data with expert knowledge, risk and decision analysis. This is a course which mix theory and literature seminars with hands on exercises on Bayesian analysis to learn, predict, quantify uncertainty and make decisions.

The course will be open for anyone who has basic knowledge in probability theory or statistics. Experience in R will be an advantage for the hands on exercises. Methods will be presented in settings where they are applied using simple examples from the field of environmental and risk management. The purpose with the applied focus is to give students basic skills to use these methods, understand what they can be used for, and stimulate the student’s curiosity in learning more about them at a more foundational level.

Upon completion of the course, the student shall:

  • Be able to give an account of the principles behind Bayesian decision analysis,
  • Be able to give an account of the principles behind Bayesian and hierarchical modelling,
  • Be able to give examples of principles to quantify and treat uncertainty in quantitative assessments,
  • Be able to give an account of science theoretic arguments behind principles to quantify and treat uncertainty in knowledge production and decision making

The course consists of lectures, exercises, literature seminars and an individual project covered by three physical meetings and self studies. Case studies will be used cutting across the different parts.

Part I (March 13-14)

Ullrika Sahlin and Niklas Vareman

  • Introduction to decision analysis
  • Bayesian Belief Networks
  • The philosophy of uncertainty

Part II (March 20-21)

Johan Lindström

  • Bayesian Hierarchical Modelling in JAGS and INLA.

Part III (April 10-11)

Ullrika Sahlin, Niklas Vareman and Inari Helle (University of Helsinki)

  • Bayesian decision analysis
  • Decision making robust to uncertainty – in theory and practice
  • Limitations and extensions of Bayesian decision analysis

Part IV. Individual project

The purpose with the individual project is to give the students an opportunity to deepen or apply course content on something that are in their own interest. It can be purely theoretical or more hands-on modelling project. A suggestion is to do a decision analysis where one need to integrate data and expert judgment.

The schedule will be specified so that it is possible to travel back and forth from nearby cities over the day starting at 10 and ending at 15, with a possibility of Q&A between 15 and 16 the first day of every two day sessions.

In addition, course participants are invited to participate for free in the one day conference Bayes@Lund taking place in Lund on April 12th.

This course was given as a summer school 2015 – I have pasted the blog post we had back then

First week completed of the summer school Bayesian Analysis and Decision Theory

For questions contact me Ullrika — ullrika.sahlin [at]

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Bayes@Lund2018 – for the 5th time!

Bayes@Lund 2018 – a Mini-conference on Bayesian Methods at Lund University, 12th of April, 2018

You are welcome to participate in the fifth edition of Bayes@Lund! The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers and professionals working with or interested in Bayesian methods. Bayes@Lund aims at being accessible to researchers with little experience of Bayesian methods while still being relevant to experienced practitioners. The focus is on how Bayesian methods are used in research and the industry, what advantages Bayesian methods have over classical alternatives, and how the use and teaching of Bayesian methods can be encouraged.

To participate you need to register in advance, please register for Bayes@Lund 2018 here:


Please see the conference web page for more info:

Call for Presentations and Short Tutorials

As last year we invite you to submit a talk to Bayes@Lund, but new for this year is that we also invite you to submit Short tutorials.


A talk is a 20 minutes presentation on any topic related to Bayesian methods, but not restricted to:

  • Case studies. Have you used Bayesian methods in your research? Describe what you did, and how it worked out.
  • Method development. Are you developing novel Bayesian methods that you want to share?
  • Teaching Bayes. Do you have experiences teaching Bayesian methods. What was the challenges, and do you have any useful tips?

Short tutorials are 10/20/30 min long tutorials where you introduce the audience to a  tool, package or methodology you find useful. It doesn’t need to be something you’ve developed, just something you want to show the audience!


As the audience will be highly heterogeneous, the talk and tutorials are expected to be accessible and engaging for a multidisciplinary audience.


To contribute a presentation or short tutorial for Bayes@Lund please send in the title of your talk/tutorial with an abstract (not more than 100 words) to For a short tutorial, also indicate how much time you need (10/20/30 min). The final date for submission is the 11th of February.


Invited speakers: Paul-Christian Bürkner and Jukka Ranta

This year we are happy to announce that the first invited speaker is Paul-Christian Bürkner, researcher at the University of Münster, Department of Psychology. Paul is an expert in Bayesian statistical modelling and he is the creator of the well known BRMS software package that makes it easy to do advanced Bayesian modelling

We are equally happy to announce that the second invited speaker is Jukka Ranta, professor at the Finnish Food Safety Authority, and docent of biometry from Helsinki University. Jukka’s research is focused on Bayesian modelling to do Quantitative Risk Assessment in food safety applications. He has also taught several courses in Bayesian statistics at the University.

Important Dates

Final date for presentations submission: 11th of February
Notifications to presenters: 18th of February
Final date for registration: 1st of April
The conference: 12th of April

Program, Info & registration

Please see the conference web page: or contact us at:

Rasmus Bååth, Lund University Cognitive Science, DataCamp Inc:
Ullrika Sahlin, Lund University Centre of Environmental and Climate Research:

All best,
Rasmus Bååth & Ullrika Sahlin

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