Emma Woods

Director of Policy at Natural History Museum

Director of Policy, Natural History Museum
Continuing Policy Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy

Emma Woods took up her role as Director of Policy in the Natural History Museum in February 2022. Previously, she was Head of Policy at the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, where she worked with some of the world's most distinguished scientists to provide accessible, independent advice to policymakers.

She led the Society’s work on the wellbeing of people and planet, and focused on post-Brexit land use, the future of genetic technologies, and the global biodiversity crisis. Her work also explores the nature of science in public life, and she has recently published on the ‘post-truth’ phenomenon. Ultimately her days are spent navigating diverse worldviews, brokering relationships, and translating evidence into usable knowledge that benefits decision-makers and wider society.

In previous roles at the Society Emma has advised the UK government on the environmental risks of fracking, advised the UN on how to build people's resilience to extreme weather, and worked on issues as diverse as climate engineering, evidence synthesis and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She tweets about her work as @sdoowamme.

Emma's interest in the relationship between people and planet has taken her all over the world. She has previously worked for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, and WWF Madagascar. She also has teaching experience in the UK and China, and is a Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Institute.

During her two degrees at Oxford University – MA (Oxon) in Biological Sciences and MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management – she conducted her own research on tarsiers in Indonesia, and on forest conservation and participatory video in Tanzania. She will happily talk at length about her time in the field.

  • 21 May 2020, 11am

    Annual Conference Virtual Seminar Series: Food strategy

    The first seminar in our 2020 annual conference virtual seminar series will be on the topic of food strategy with expert speakers from the University of Cambridge.

  • 26 June 2019, 9:30am

    CSaP Annual Conference 2019

    CSaP's Annual Conference will bring together members of our network from government, academia and elsewhere to discuss some of the policy challenges we have worked on over the past year.