NASA’s chief science data officer to headline Data Summit 2022

Kevin Murphy, chief science data officer, NASA

NASA’s chief science data officer Kevin Murphy is set to speak at a flagship two-day artificial intelligence and data conference in Edinburgh in November.

He will talk to Data Summit delegates about NASA’s Earth System Observatory, which gathers huge amounts of data about our planet which will help guide efforts to monitor climate change, mitigate natural disasters, fight forest fires and improve real-time agricultural processes. 

Mr Murphy has won numerous industry accolades, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. He manages the programmes responsible for the production and distribution of data from NASA’s fleet of over 20 Earth-observing satellites and instruments to users around the world.

Data Summit, being organised by The Data Lab – Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI – is considered one of the UK’s largest annual gatherings of business figures and academics who are using AI and data to advance their work.

The culmination of the DataFest series of events, Data Summit (November 3-4, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre) will host speakers from around the globe who will discuss how innovations in technology, data and AI can make the world a better place, focusing on the theme of “hope”.

Other high-profile speakers for the event include:

  • Countdown’s Susie Dent, who has made the Channel 4 show’s Dictionary Corner her own since 1992. She will talk about how data is used to make dictionaries, analyse language and find stories within it. She will also discuss whether jargon is a help or a hindrance to the data industry.
  • Science broadcaster and mathematician Hannah Fry, who brings numbers and data to life on TV and radio on programmes such as The Joy of Data and City in the Sky. She’ll be talking about data and diversity, looking at how bias has become such a profound modern issue, the ways it causes harm and what we can do about it.
  • Researcher and technology ethicist, Stephanie Hare, whose recently published book Technology is Not Neutral was named by the Financial Times as one of their tech books of the year. Selected as a part of the BBC Expert Women initiative, she has a regular radio column on BBC World Service’s World Business Report and BBC Radio’s 4 Business Daily
  • Devi Sridhar, a Professor at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and a Personal Chair in Global Public Health. An advisor to the Scottish Government during the Covid-19 pandemic, Devi makes regular appearances in the media on public health issues.

Gordon Johnstone, Head of DataFest, The Data Lab, said: “There can be no doubt that the future is data powered, and Scotland has the potential to lead the world in how we shape this future.

“We want this year’s Data Summit to be bigger and more exciting than ever before, and the addition of these inspirational speakers will certainly help us achieve that aim. Knowing that they will be hearing from the likes of NASA’s Kevin Murphy will be a big draw for audiences, and we’ve got some more surprising additions to our programme too, from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and specialisms.

“When you think of data and AI, you might not immediately see its relevance to dictionaries and stories. Having people like Suzie Dent sharing their expertise will open minds to the fact that the benefits of these technologies reach far beyond what many might expect.”

Confirmed sponsors for Data Summit 2022 include some of The Data Lab’s newest partners:

  • Online sports betting company FanDuel
  • Data operations firm Keboola

Tickets for the event are now available here (, with a 10% discount for members of The Data Lab Community.


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