Economic Lessons From The J-value For Covid Response

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The Judgement- or J-value is a validated method that allows you to decide objectively how much should be spent on human safety and environmental protection. Applying the J-value to England's covid epidemic, it is clear that a lockdown that lasts more than 2 or 3 months will lose more life than it will save. The talk will explain the J-value method and show how the economic disruption from lockdown leads inevitably to life being lost. Greater economic awareness is necessary for future emergency planning.


Professor Philip Thomas began his career as a control engineer, first with ICI plc and then with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, before moving into management roles within the nuclear industry, the most challenging of which was to decommission the Windscale Advanced Gas Reactor to green-field conditions in the UK's first major nuclear decommissioning exercise. He took up a chair in the engineering development at City, University of London in 2000 and transferred to the University of Bristol in 2015, where he became professor of risk management.

He has developed the new J-value method of risk analysis, which allows the costs of health and safety measures to be balanced objectively against the increases in life expectancy that they bring about. His team showed that government responses to the big nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima were poor, with no one needing to be evacuated after Fukushima, much less the 160,000 who were actually moved out.

He has published journal and conference papers on control, instrumentation, nuclear decommissioning, risk assessment, economics and law, as well as the book, Simulation of Industrial Processes for Control Engineers. He wrote a series of articles for The Spectator and The Daily Mail on how best to manage covid-19 in England.

He is currently visiting academic professor at the University of Bristol, and Master of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers. His company, Michaelmas Consulting Ltd., carries out consultancy for the nuclear industry.

Wednesday, 05 July 2023

11:00 - 11:45 BST



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  • Professor Philip Thomas
    Professor Philip Thomas
    Professor of Risk Management
    University of Bristol
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Z/Yen Group

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