One of the lead scientists involved in the ground-breaking James Webb telescope programme – which captured stunning images this week of the early cosmos – is to be a speaker at this year’s Data Summit in Edinburgh.

Dr. Giovanna Giardino, a data scientist at the European Space Agency, who has contributed to bringing to life the birth of galaxies and atmospheres of exoplanets, will appear at the two-day conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) from 3-4 November. 

Data Summit – part of the annual Data Fest – will host a broad range of business figures and academics who are using data and AI to advance their work – some of whom will make their debut on a Scottish stage.

With the 2022 conference focused on the theme of “hope” and how AI and data can be used to create “a better world and society”, Dr. Giardino will outline how she and her colleagues at the ESA used data from the JWST to reveal full-colour images of the distant cosmos. 

Other speakers confirmed to speak at the event include theoretical physicist, Professor Jim Al-Khalili CBE; Elinor Samuelsson, founder of BrightAct, a Swedish organisation utilising AI to address domestic violence globally; and Priya Lakhani OBE, founder of CENTURY Tech, an award-winning education platform that develops AI-powered learning tools for students and teachers across the world.

The international conference will bring together data leaders and practitioners from across industry, the public sector, and academia to share compelling stories on data and AI innovation and how it can practically be used to create real change – both for the world around us and for society. The event has moved to the EICC for the first time which will see it increase its capacity and give the opportunity for it to be the biggest ever since it was established six years ago. 

Gordon Johnstone, head of DataFest, The Data Lab, said: “The world of data science and AI has moved beyond hypothetical-use cases to make a real difference in people’s lives. Our agenda this year will not only consider how AI can be used to make distant galaxies visible but also how it can be used to protect victims of domestic violence – the scope is huge.

“We want to demonstrate to delegates how AI and data can make the world a better place. By creating a programme that highlights how all our lives can be impacted in a tangible way by these innovations, we hope everyone who attends will walk away inspired to drive positive change in their lives using these cutting-edge technologies.”

Tickets for the event are now available here (, with members of The Data Lab Community able to get discounted rates until 31 July.