Oliver Watson

Senior Policy Advisor at Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Senior Policy Advisor, DEFRA
CAPE Policy Fellow

Oli is a policy professional currently working within agri-food chain policy on the regulatory reform of genetic technologies. In the immediate term this is looking at the regulation of new genetic technologies like gene editing and the environmental release of gene edited organisms. As this is a high-profile, technical, and sensitive area it is a timely and important opportunity to explore policy questions in this area and strengthen science-policy linkages in this area.

Oli also aims to facilitate knowledge exchange, provision of external expertise and policy join-up across the department. He primarily does this by facilitating talks with external experts, organising events and site visits with policy teams across Defra. As such, he is interested in learning more about emerging areas of research, innovation or thinking that might be of interest to Defra policy, particularly on agri-food.

Fellowship Objectives.
• Promote the importance of academic engagement and research across Defra and in climate change adaptation policy across government. 
• Question and explore some of the most critical barriers to climate change adaptation policy making, enhancing our understanding as policy professionals so that we can help shape the future direction of climate adaptation decision making.  
• Build a stronger network within the academic community to collaborate with on policy issues, inform future research and explore the potential of joint projects or events.  

  • 24 April 2024, 5:30pm

    2024 CSaP Annual Cleevely Lecture: Dr Dave Smith, National Technology Adviser

    The Government, science policy, and products - from concept to consumer: After six months as the first full time National Technology Adviser, Dave Smith will reflect on how UK government investment in the science base supports our private sector and how the Science and Technology Framework guides government innovation policy today.