2014 Colloquium

Time Event
10.00-10.15am Morning tea
10.15-10.30am Introduction to COMPASS Research Centre and its work programme
– Professor Peter Davis, COMPASS Director
10.30-11.15am “Valuing” the social sciences: An agenda for hard times – Professor Peter Davis
It is clear that current policy settings in the tertiary sector – including research funding – favour the STEM subjects (science [including medicine], technology, engineering, and mathematics). This is not unique to New Zealand. I will outline various potential strategies that the social sciences can deploy in a programme of regrouping, renewal and response. In particular, I will draw on the findings of a recently published book, “The Impact of the Social Sciences”, by Simon Bastow and colleagues. While this book is UK-focused, their work has broader application. Although the tenor of my argument will be influenced by my experience of working in a predominantly applied and research-intensive setting, I believe there are lessons and discussion points for the wider academic agenda of the social sciences.
11.15-11.45am Adjusting for linkage bias in the Historic Longitudinal Census cohort – Dr Barry Milne
The recent development of the Historic Longitudinal Census cohort – which links data for individuals across the NZ Censuses from 1981–2006 – creates an opportunity to answer innovative research questions. Indeed, we have recently received funding to use this cohort to study life-course socioeconomic influences on mortality. However, as there is incomplete linkage across censuses (i.e. some individuals are able to be linked while others are not), there is the potential for bias if associations among those linked differ from associations in the full population. We will describe the Historic Longitudinal Census cohort and our attempts to identify and adjust for bias.
11.45am-12.30pm Rebalancing care for older people: Simulating policy options – Mr Roy Lay-Yee
Demographic ageing in New Zealand has greatly increased the proportion of older people, with major implications for the provision of health and social care. Policy options include promoting healthier ageing, and changing the balance of care. To test these options, we first constructed a micro-simulation model of the 65+ life course using data from two official national survey series, on health and disability respectively. We then used the model to artificially modify morbidity levels or the balance of care, and to observe the impact on the overall use of care. We report on both the construction of the model and the results of simulated scenarios.
12.30-1.15pm Lunch (provided)
1.15-2.00pm Simario: An R package for dynamic micro-simulation – Mrs Jessica McLay
We have created a policy software tool for performing ‘what if’ scenarios using dynamic micro-simulation. The user interface (front end) of the tool is created in Java and Ascape. The computations and simulations are performed in the statistical programming language R, specifically by the functions in the simario R package. We have created the simario R package for creating dynamic micro-simulation models. In this presentation the simario package is introduced and key features of the simario package are demonstrated.
2.00-2.45pm A Knowledge laboratory of the early life-course – Dr Barry Milne
The ‘Knowledge Lab’ micro-simulation project aims to integrate ‘best evidence’ from systematic reviews and meta-analyses into a working model of the early life course (from birth to age 21). We will describe the Knowledge Lab project, and how we plan to use it to: (i) test the validity of the underlying behavioural equations and specific knowledge sources (meta-analyses, systematic reviews); and (ii) test policy scenarios by carrying out experiments on the 'virtual cohort' created by the working model.
2.45pm Finish