Alan Wilson is Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. He is Chair of the Home Office Science Advisory Council and of the Lead Expert Group for the GO-Science Foresight Project on the Future of Cities. He was responsible for the introduction of a number of model building techniques which are now in common use internationally – such as the use of ‘entropy’ in building spatial interaction models. His current research, supported by ESRC and EPSRC grants, is on the evolution of cities and the dynamics of global trade, migration, security and development aid. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1991 to 2004 when he became Director-General for Higher Education in the then DfES. From 2007-2013 he was Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is one of the small number of academics who is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society. He was knighted in 2001 for services to higher education. He has published extensively and his recent books include Knowledge power (2010), The science of cities and regions and his five volume (edited) Urban modelling (both 2013).