Advisory Board

They help us in achieving our mission and objectives.

Scientific Advisory Board assists DEKK members by creating and checking the quality of scientific methodology. The members of the Scientific Advisory Board are not members of the Institute, but sympathize with its mission, and have committed to devote at least 2 hours of their time per month to provide expert consultations for the Scientific Team of the Institute. They also represent an important link to the global scientific community.

Without members of the Scientific Advisory Board, the work of the Institute would be almost impossible.

Justin E. Lane, DPhil (Oxon)

Justin E. Lane is currently the CTO at ALAN Analytics, s.r.o, a Slovak-based AI and simulation company focused on the creation and analysis of social AI and digital twin technology. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he created and validated an AI system for predicting and analyzing digital twins of social groups. He has held positions at universities in the UK and Singapore and worked with the Asia Research Institute, NUS, and at LEVYNA, Masaryk University. 

He is currently a Research Associate at the Center for Mind and Culture, Boston University as well as the NORCE Center for Modeling Social Systems. His research interests include artificial intelligence and computer simulation, behavioral economics, and the formation of new religious movements. His work has been discussed in the BBC, The Telegraph, Vice NewsNew Scientist and The Atlantic. He also regularly works in business development and innovation consulting for start-up and investment firms in Central and Eastern Europe. His book, Understanding Religion through Artificial Intelligence: Bonding and Belief is available through Bloomsbury.

Mária Friedmannová, DPhil (Oxon)

Maria Friedmannova has been interested in human behaviour ever since she remembers. Maria first studied Human Sciences, a joint anthropology and human biology course at Oxford, moving on to Experimental Psychology for her masters and PhD. During her PhD she studied cognitive psychology, focusing on how humans understand written language. After her doctorate, she went on to work for Google for four years as a User Experience researcher, conducting applied psychology and ethnographic research on how humans interact with technology, specializing on YouTube - and she knows all the famous youtubers. 

Currently, she oversees User Research at a start up Blueheart that aims to deliver personalised couple and sex therapy in an affordable digital format. In her spare time, Maria is passionate about education, mental health, combining mixed methods to understand humans and behaviour, and baking sourdough!

Suzanne Newcombe, PhD

Suzanne Newcombe is honorary director of Inform (based at King's College London) and a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University (UK). Inform was founded in 1988 to research and provide information on minority religious movements and to act as a bridge between academic research and the needs of the media and general public for information. It also houses one of the largest databases of religious groups and spiritual movements in the world. 

Suzanne studied sociology of religion at London School of Economics under prof. Eileen Barker, founder of Inform, and gained her PhD. in History at Cambridge University. Her research interests lie mostly in the sociology and social history of religion (broadly understood) and extensive specialist knowledge in new and minority religious movements in modern and contemporary Britain, assessing the security threats posed by minority religions, conspiracy theories and associated social movements. Her recent publication, edited with Karen O'Brien-Kop is the Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation (2021). She is particularly interested in the interfaces between religion, health and healing.

Martin Lukáč, PhD

Martin Lukac is an LSE Fellow in Computational Social Sciences in the Methodology Department at the London School of Economics and an Associate at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University of Oxford. He obtained his PhD in Sociology at KU Leuven where he also studied MSc in Statistics and MSc in Social Policy Analysis. Before starting his PhD, Martin worked as a Data Scientist at IBM. 

Martin’s area of expertise is Computational Social Sciences, Network Analysis and Agent-Based Modelling. His methodological research interests focus on latent variable modelling, causal inference with observational and experimental data, social network analysis, agent-based modelling, and survey methodology. 

His applied research revolves around labour market inequalities, online labour market platforms, and skill use—especially in context of digitalisation and automation. He is interested in using tools from complexity systems science to generate new insights and understanding of ongoing labour market processes. Martin also worked on welfare attitudes in Europe.

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