Jonathan Bruun replaces Paul Hardaker as chair of Sense about Science

Professor Paul Hardaker, chief executive of the Institute of Physics, is stepping down today after chairing Sense about Science for 10 years. He has led the board through three strategic reviews, a rapidly changing landscape and internationalisation of the charity’s work. Our new chair will be Jonathan Bruun, who was elected by trustees in December.

Jonathan has been a long-time supporter of Sense about Science, a trustee for 3 years and a member of its governance committee. He is the chief executive officer of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, where he is responsible for the strategic leadership of the College, including the implementation and delivery of the College’s mission, values and strategic plan. Prior to joining the College, Jonathan led the British Pharmacological Society as CEO from 2012-2019.

During his time as chair, Paul has been impressed by the strong support inside and outside the organisation for the charity’s mission:

“Scientific evidence plays such an important part in our public life, and there is no better example of that than the role it has played in helping us to deal with the impact of COVID-19. So it is easy to see why Sense about Science and all it does to ensure the public can connect with this in an open, honest and engaging way is equally important. It has been a huge privilege to serve as Chair, not just because of what we do and the impact we have, but also because it has been a chance to work closely with such a talented and dedicated group of people. I am hugely grateful for the support from all of Sense about Science’s Board members over my term, and to Tracey and the team who work tirelessly in pursuit of all we do. I also feel very fortunate to have Jono as a successor who I know will not only give strong leadership for the Board but who is committed to keeping evidence at the heart of our public dialogue and debate.” Paul Hardaker

Paul will remain a trustee for a further year and continue to chair Sense about Science’s governance committee.

Jonathan was elected as chair shortly before the covid-19 pandemic and in the interim has been helping the board and the team to navigate this demanding and busy time:

“Evidence matters, and the transparent use of evidence to guide policy and public engagement has rarely been more important than it is today, when the effects of a global pandemic are impacting so deeply on our daily lives. I’m delighted to be taking over as Chair of Sense About Science, and I am excited by the opportunity to work with such a talented board, and the staff team led so brilliantly by Tracey Brown. I’d like to pay tribute to the leadership of my predecessor Paul Hardaker, who has been a hugely committed and visionary chair for so many years, and who will be a tough act to follow.”  Jonathan Bruun

Tracey Brown, director of Sense about Science expressed our admiration of them both:

“I cannot thank Paul enough for the years that he has given us. His insights and leadership have been invaluable to Sense about Science, to the impact of our work, and to my own professional development. His time as chair has seen us meet incredibly ambitious goals with a very motivated team. We’re now looking forward very much to Jono’s tenure as chair as we embark on a strategy that promotes the public interest in sound science and evidence and equips people to make sense of rapidly changing knowledge and its new applications. Jono has already shown that he brings that vital mix of a clear long view alongside reactive guidance on new challenges that is so important in the work of our board.”