This month’s magazine continues our campaign to showcase the expertise and influence that actuaries have had, and continue to have, beyond the profession.
In this issue, Peter Wylie looks at the role of actuarial calculations in court decisions on injury damage compensation. In past issues, we have promoted some of the insights from the COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group, who have been very visible – including a member’s recent appearance on BBC Radio 4’s More or Less. Next month, we will be highlighting the impact that actuaries have had on UK climate change policy. At a time when it may be fashionable to decry the value of experts, I echo our president Tan Suee Chieh’s call for us to remain true to our strengths of genuine technical rigour and great communication, and enter public debate where it is appropriate to do so.
The actuary of the future is much more likely to be concerned with catastrophe risk, climate and sustainability issues (both of which feature on our website), have a global outlook – this month we feature two articles with a focus on India – and be involved in building better actuarial tools.
Recent mistakes involving the loss of some track-and-trace data in the UK was attributed to Excel limitations for data processing, and this should also give us pause for thought. Our Actuary of the Future series features the running question “What is your favourite Excel function?” We introduced this in 2012 when I was a features editor on the magazine, as a partly tongue-in-cheek query: we naively assumed at the time that Excel would be superseded by other, more task-appropriate technologies. That the question is still relevant eight years later perhaps suggests it is time to think again about whether we still have the best tools for the job.