Researchers plan conference to bridge the gap between science and policy

science in policyEarly career researchers at the University of Sheffield have organised a conference around the role of science in policy.

The Science In Policy conference on Friday 7 November is aimed at researchers (PhD students, postdocs, research assistants and academics) in the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and geography, as well as people working in other fields where science and policy meet, and others who may be interested.

Is is organised by the University’s Science In Policy group, which is made up of early career researchers and technical staff in the Faculty of Science, who are interested in how science shapes policy, at the EU, national and local level.

The group’s aim is to bridge the gap in knowledge, skills and communication between scientists and policy-makers.

Topics covered at the Science In Policy conference will include:

  • Should scientists lobby?
  • Should science be judged on its relevance to industry and policy?
  • What are the main barriers to evidence-based policy?
  • Is your ‘blue skies’ research policy relevant?
  • Who has influence over government policy?
  • What are the routes to careers in policy for scientists?

The speakers and the provisional titles of their talks are:

  • Professor Dame Bridget Ogilvie, AC, DBF, FRS: ‘Science and technology policy successes and failures’
  • Dr Katharine Dommett, Research Fellow, Dept of Politics at University of Sheffield: ‘Are we in a time of evidence-based policy?’
  • Sasha Leigh, NERC Policy Innovation Manager: ‘How can scientists link their research with policy?’
  • Professor Andrew Watkinson, Professor in Environmental Sciences at UEA: ‘Influencing or informing, should scientists be advocates?’
  • Daniel Wood, Parliamentary Outreach Officer: ‘How to engage with government’
  • Dr Monica Darnbrough, CBE, Trustee at Newtons Apple and ex-scientific civil servant: ‘Careers in policy for scientists: Working on policy in Whitehall – juggling ministers, media, lobbyists and science’
  • Dr Alisa Becker, Programme Manager, Physical Sciences, The Royal Society of Chemistry: ‘The role of the RSC in influencing policy’

Alongside these talks there will be opportunities to network with the speakers and ask science-policy questions during a panel discussion with Professor Dame Bridget Ogilvie, Professor Andrew Watkinson and Dr Monica Darnbrough.

You can register at see the conference poster and timetable at

Science In Policy, Friday 7 November