Two cultures: can policy makers and academic institutions ever work together effectively?

11 June 2018, 5:30pm


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A lecture by Dr David Cleevely, CSaP Founding Director (2008-2015)

Monday 11 June 2018, Queens' College, Cambridge

Chaired by Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, and Chair of CSaP’s Management Committee.

The UK has scientific advisers at the top of government, but with science, engineering and technology playing greater and greater roles in our lives there is a correspondingly greater need for a broader understanding of these issues by policy makers.

One source of advice might be academic institutions, but there is a mixed history of working together partly because policy makers need solutions and decisions whilst academic institutions are concerned with understanding the complexity of topics – and both operate with different timescales and required levels of proof.

David Cleevely will argue that a better approach is to use peer to peer networking between members of the two groups, where each expose their own unique insights. He will draw parallels with systems of open innovation and open policy making, and set out why democracies need to draw more effectively on insights from science and engineering and how this could best be achieved.


David Cleevely was appointed the Centre for Science and Policy’s Founding Director in 2008. As co-founder of networking organisations such as Cambridge Network, Cambridge Wireless and Cambridge Angels, David brought a unique perspective to the age-old issue of the exchange of insights between Policy Makers and Academic Institutions. The result was a unique organisation based on networking between peers, rather than attempting to formulate policy directly.

Now, ten years on, David is standing down after completing his term as the inaugural Chair of CSaP’s Advisory Council. To honour David’s foundational contribution, we are inviting people who have played a significant part in the CSaP’s development over the past ten years to join with us in celebrating David’s achievements.

The lecture will be chaired by Professor Ottoline Leyser, Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, and Chair of CSaP’s Management Committee.


Queens' College, Cambridge

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Banner image from Flickr licensed under CC BY 4.0

Dr David Cleevely

Cambridge Angels

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

The Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU), University of Cambridge