Newsletter - July/August 2012
Message from the Founding Director
It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Dr Rob Doubleday on his appointment as the new CSaP Executive Director. Rob brings to the role not only deep insights from his work in academia, government and industry, but also a strong commitment to the Centre's mission. Rob will lead the team in the next phase of its development as we continue to build profile, generate impact and create lasting relationships.
There's been no better demonstration recently of the breadth of those relationships than CSaP's Annual Reception held in London at the beginning of July. Now more than ever, we are playing a leading role working at the science and policy interface; as former Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Ian Watmore, said in his speech, the central mission of CSaP is "getting government, business and particularly scientists working together on the problems that affect our society, our lives and our futures." I am confident that Rob and the team will rise to this challenge, and ensure that CSaP is the catalyst for change.
Centre for Science and Policy
University of Cambridge
Message from the Executive Director
It's a huge privilege to be appointed CSaP's next Executive Director. Looking across the thriving Policy Fellowships programme, the stimulating series of events that the Centre runs, and the growing research programme, it's clear that CSaP has come far in its first three years. Our success is largely due the active participation of our network of academics and policy professionals in government and industry.
I am enormously excited by the opportunity to work with some of the best thinkers on some of our world's most challenging problems. I will be taking up my new post in September, and I am looking forward to leading the Centre's activities in order to strengthen and improve the relationship between science and government.
Dr Rob Doubleday
Centre for Science and Policy
University of Cambridge
In this issue:
- Recent CSaP events
- New Policy Fellows
- Cambridge Public Policy
- Forthcoming Events
- News in Brief
Recent CSaP events
Workshop on Global Uncertainties
On 13 June, at the Royal Society, CSaP Visiting Fellow Dr Tristram Riley-Smith brought together leading academics and policy makers to discuss the relationship between national security challenges and academic research. The day was informed by a draft paper covering the Inquiry Phase of Tristram's year-long Fellowship at CSaP. More
CONNECTIONS debate on the financial crisis
Working with Cambridge-based student group CONNECTIONS, CSaP organised a debate on 19 June to discuss the lessons learned from the recent financial crisis. Offering two contrasting perspectives - one from the world of finance, the other from security and science - the event catalysed a productive discussion between the speakers, Dr Jamie MacIntosh (UCL) and Colm O'Shea (Comac International), and an audience of academics and policy makers. Discussions focused on why the crisis happened; how it reached such scales of impact; what is (or is not) being done in response; and whether the policies enacted can prevent it happening again.
CSaP Annual Reception 2012
On 2 July, CSaP celebrated its third successful year of building bridges between science and policy at a reception hosted at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London. The event provided an opportunity for more than 150 policy makers, industry leaders and researchers to meet and share experiences with many of those who had taken part in the Centre's activities since its launch in July 2009. Speaking at the reception, Vice Chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz praised CSaP for the role it plays in fostering connections between academia, government and industry: "That universities benefit from the interaction that CSaP engenders", he began, "is a really important aspect of why the Centre is an integral part of Cambridge University." More...
Mobilising the Geeks - a lecture by Mark Henderson
On 4 July, speaking to an audience of government policy makers at the Treasury in London, Mark Henderson reprised his lecture on "Mobilising the Geeks: Bringing science back to the centre of policy". Professor Frank Kelly chaired the session and ensuing discussion, which saw Mark calling for more scientifically minded individuals to join the civil service. During the lively Q&A, one delegate pointed out that we need to translate science before it gets into policy, and recognise that one size doesn't fit all.
Building on links established in the Policy Fellowships Programme, the Whitehall team working for Lord Heseltine on his Review of UK Competitiveness came to Cambridge in July for a CSaP Policy Workshop supported by the IET. The Review, which will report to Vince Cable and George Osborne in October, is examining ways of promoting economic development across all parts of the UK through skills, innovation, research, standards, procurement, infrastructure and regulation.
New Policy Fellows
The Policy Fellowships Programme enters its third year of operation in September with the arrival of the next cohort of Fellows - senior policy makers from government departments and businesses covering the whole spectrum of the Centre's themes, with particular emphasis on cyber security, health and wellbeing, and the environment.
First to arrive will be Sandie Dunne, Head of Programmes for Community Wellbeing, Environment and Housing at the Local Government Group, and Halima Khan, Director at the Public Services Lab at Nesta. Sandie will explore issues raised by the newly emerging public health system in England, while Halima will focus on questions relating to healthy ageing. They will be followed by Colin Church, Defra's Director for Climate, Waste and Atmosphere - investigating how to mitigate the impact of waste and its disposal on health and the environment - and then by further Fellows in the stream related to the cyber security of infrastructure, including James Quinault (Director of OCSIA in the Cabinet Office).
For more details of the programme and to read the recently published Policy Fellowship report, see here.
Cambridge Public Policy (CPP)
CPP is pleased to announce that the new Cambridge Master's in Public Policy (MPP) will welcome its first cohort of students in October 2013. This is a one-year practice oriented programme hosted by the Department of Politics and International Studies, but drawing on teaching from across the University from Architecture to Zoology, as well as from policy professionals in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The MPP aims to strengthen the interconnections between research and innovation in public policy. It will promote better awareness within policy circles of scientific developments and analytical processes, which in turn will encourage long-term thinking and better strategic planning. If you wish to participate in the MPP as a student, please sign up for e-alerts here. If you or your organisation would like to participate in the MPP work placement programme or support a student bursary, please email the CPP team.
See further below for the upcoming programme of CPP lectures and seminars, which are free to attend and open to all.
18 October: Joint Research Centre (JRC): Science and Policy - the view from inside the European Commission
The next CSaP Distinguished Lecture will be delivered by Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission. In his lecture, Mr Ristori will set out his ideas on the key challenges and opportunities for better integrating science and policy as seen from the EU perspective, drawing on recent new orientations in the JRC. To register, and for more information, click here.
31 October: Professional Development Policy Seminar for early-career computer scientists
The next CSaP Professional Development Policy Seminar will be held in Cambridge and will see a panel of computer scientists from academia discuss the role they play in providing expert advice to government. Responding to suggestions from an audience of early-career computer scientists on how to improve the process of getting expert advice into policy making, policy makers will describe how, and from where, science advice is sought. For more information on who should attend, and how to apply for a place, please click here.
Cambridge Public Policy Seminar Series
- 16 October: Professor James Jackson, Head of the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge - Living with earthquakes in the developing world
- 6 November: Dr Rob Doubleday, CSaP Executive Director, and Dr Patrick Middleton, Head of Engagement, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - Public knowledge: Lessons from public dialogues commissioned by the RCUK
- 20 November: Professor Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Lancaster University - How religion has changed in Britain since the 1980s, and what it means for policy
Cambridge Public Policy Lecture Series
- 25 October: Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Queen's Building Theatre, Emmanuel College)
- 31 October: Lord Young of Graffham (Howard Lecture Theatre, Downing College)
- 15 November: Lord O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service (Peterhouse Theatre, Peterhouse)
- 30 January: Baroness Julia Neuberger, Senior Rabbi, West London Synagogue (Fitzpatrick Hall Lecture Theatre, Queens' College)
For more information on Cambridge Public Policy events, and to register your interest in attending, please click here.
News in Brief
CSaP has secured grant funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to support a year-long Knowledge Exchange Fellowship. The grant enables Visiting Fellow Tristram Riley-Smith, who is on a placement from his HMG Department, to explore the relationship between the National Security domain and academia, and to recommend ways to improve dialogue and engagement.
New Look for CSaP
You may already have seen our new home page which has been designed to help guide you - whether you're from academia, government or business, or have an interest in the relationship between science and policy - to the most relevant news items, events and other areas of interest on our website. We hope it works for you!
Cambridge Public Policy recruitment
Applications have now closed for the CPP's three new academic positions, the Director of the MPP, the Deputy Director and the Mellon funded postdoctoral fellowship. The successful candidates will be announced shortly.
We would like to congratulate the members of our network whose work was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June - David Newbery CBE and Dougal Goodman OBE. Congratulations also to Sir Mark Walport on his appointment as the UK Government's Chief Scientific Adviser.
A debt of gratitude
CSaP would like to thank the David Harding Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust for their donations which made the Centre's creation and continued work possible.