About the Lapsed Geographer

Hi, I’m Matt, and more than anything this blog is a reference library so that I remember what I’ve done/learnt. It’s also an attempt to motivate me to learn more, or rather learn in a more structured manner.

Posts will mainly be on data science tools and techniques, largely (but not solely) in R.

Until August 2022 I worked for the UK Civil Service, specifically in the Cabinet Office. Nothing written in this blog from before August 2022 should be considered an official view or policy of the UK Government, any suggestions I make are my own recommendations and are not official endorsement.

Why The Lapsed Geographer? My academic background is in geography, and while geography and maps still hold a special place in my heart most of my work hasn’t been very geographical for quite some time.

You want the long story?? Well… after my undergrad BSc in Geography from University College London, I worked for a small urban regeneration consultancy as an interim policy researcher for the London Borough of Hackney. I then entered the Civil Service as a research officer for HMRC, and picked up an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics from City University, London along the way. After a couple of years in HMRC I joined the Cabinet Office to help set up the Civil Service People Survey, a team which I then went on to lead for about 6 years. During a sabbatical from the Civil Service I went to work for the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation for a year. I returned to the Cabinet Office in late 2017 my work has increasingly focussed on the application of data science tools and techniques to improve our approach to analysis. I left the Cabinet Office, and the Civil Service in August 2022.

I have a Twitter account that I don’t use very much, and have recently joined Mastodon. You can view my public code on GitHub.