Professor Bobby Duffy

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Director of the Policy Institute

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Synopsis

Bobby Duffy is the former Global Director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, working across 30 countries to carry out customised research to help governments and public sector clients make better, evidence-based decisions. He continues this work as the Director Policy Institute at King's College London. His books The Perils of Perception and Generations- Does when you’re born shape who you are? challenge misconceptions and examines the impact of fact vs perception in areas such as trust and relationships.

Biography

Bobby Duffy is a social researcher and Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute at King's College London. In his career of nearly 30 years in policy research and evaluation he has worked across most public policy areas, including being seconded to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit to undertake a major re-analysis of existing data on trust.

Prior to joining King's, Bobby was Managing Director of Public Affairs for Ipsos MORI and the Global Director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, across 30 countries.

His first book, The Perils of Perception – Why we’re wrong about nearly everything, draws on more than 100,000 interviews across 40 countries to examine how people misperceive key social realities. His work documents the enormous gap between facts and public perceptions on topics such as immigration, public health and criminality and looks at how these misperceptions are created and their impact on trust and expertise. His latest book, Generations - Does when you’re born shape who you are? challenges myths around generational trends caused by the different attitudes, advantages and opportunities of people born since the Second World War. He discusses how we need to drop the stereotypes of baby boomers and “snowflake” Gen Z to focus on more rigorous generational analysis. Looking at misperceptions, generational differences and culture wars from a corporate perspective, he shares data on how looking at biases and breaking down misconceptions benefits business and creates a more connected team. He believes that the world isn’t as polarised as it seems and while humans tend to focus on negative stories and assume the worst, the world is often better - and getting better - than we think.

Bobby sits on several advisory boards including Chairing the Campaign for Social Science and the CLOSER Advisory Board, is a member of the Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences, and is a trustee of British Future and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education.

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