ISoP Lecture 2014: What have models ever done for you?

In this talk I will look critically at the role of modelling within drug research. The theme is basically that many people model for modelling sake without thinking what they are doing. Personally I think this gives modelling a bad name and could be dangerous (but probably not). I will go through a number of cases where, I will contend, modelling has been a waste of time. Of course I will balance this with the view that when done properly it is useful. However it is a means to an end and not an end in itself. There is a much quoted sound bite from G.E.P.Box, which I won’t repeat, but a much better one from the New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford (also late of the parish of Manchester) “All science is either physics or stamp collecting”, which I will elaborate on in the talk.