Cogs and Monsters


Professor Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.  On the 20th of November she held her inaugural lecture at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS): "Cogs and Monsters: economists, experts and measuring progress."

Economists have long offered advice as if for a clockwork universe, and for long enough this analytical tradition has made economics highly influential in public policy. Now, though, their expertise is disdained, economic 'facts' become matters of opinion, and belief in the idea of economic progress appears to be fading. Ideas have a dangerous habit of bringing about their own reality; so rethinking how to define and measure prosperity, and reflecting on the role of economics in public policy, have become pressing challenges.

Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute with Professor Michael Kenny.  At the Insititute she leads research in the fields of public policy economics, technology, industrial strategy and global inequality. She specialises in the economics of new technologies and competition policy and has held a number of public service roles. Her books include GDP: A Brief but Affectionate HistoryThe Economics of Enough: How to run the economy as if the future matters, and The Soulful Science.


  • About the author

    Professor Diane Coyle, Inaugural Bennett Professor of Public Policy

    Professor Coyle co-directs the Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research under the progress and productivity themes.   Learn more

    Diane Coyle 2018