Sense about Science is governed by a board of trustees. Members of the board of trustees sit as individuals, not as representatives of any other organisation.
Professor Paul Hardaker (Chair)
Paul Hardaker is a mathematician by background whose PhD and early research work focused on radio propagation through the atmosphere. He worked at the Met Office for 14 years in a variety of roles including the Met Office’s chief advisor to government, providing support to the government in areas such as climate change policy, the civil contingency programme and the UK’s Public Met Service. He was chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society between 2006 and 2012 and is currently the chief executive of the Institute of Physics. He was chairman of the NERC directed programme on the Flood Risk from Extreme Events (FREE) and holds a visiting professorship at the University of Reading and previously the University of Salford. For five years Paul was also a non-executive director on the Board of Berkshire West Primary Care Trust and actively involved with local and regional healthcare initiatives.
Professor Dame Bridget Ogilvie FMedSci FRS (Vice-Chair)
Bridget Ogilvie initially studied agriculture in Australia and then undertook research on the immune response to parasitic infections with the UK Medical Research Council before joining the staff of the Wellcome Trust, from which she retired as Director in 1998. She is now a visiting professor at UCL from where she is involved in a range of non-executive activities in the fields of science, education and their interaction with the public.
Dr Anjana Ahuja
Anjana Ahuja is a contributing writer at the Financial Times, specialising in commenting on the ethical, political and social implications of science. She also contributes to Prospect, Radio Times and BBC Newsnight, has made BBC Radio 4 documentaries, and was a staff writer at the Times for 16 years. She is a former school governor, and has previously advised the Royal Society, the British Science Association and the British Council. She is a member of Speakers for Schools, an educational charity that connects state schools with public figures. She was named Best Science Commentator in the 2013 Comment Awards and has been shortlisted for the 2016 awards. She has a PhD in space physics from Imperial College London, on the structure of the interplanetary magnetic field between Earth and Jupiter.
Mr Jonathan Bruun
Jonathan Bruun is chief executive of the British Pharmacological Society, which represents around 4000 members studying and working in research, drug discovery and development, throughout industrial, academic and clinical sectors. As CEO, Jonathan is involved in delivering the Society’s strategy, along with financial management, business development, human resources, policy development, governance and the oversight of projects which are designed to support the UK and international pharmacology community. Prior to becoming CEO, Jonathan worked in communications, television production, and as an actor.
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Michael Fitzpatrick has been a general practitioner in Hackney, London for the past 15 years. He has written on a wide range of medical and political subjects for both medical publications and the mainstream media. He is health editor of the on-line magazine spiked and writes for the British Journal of Medical Practice. He is the author of The Tyranny of Health (Routledge 2001) and MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know (Routledge 2004).
Professor Robin Lovell-Badge FRS
Robin Lovell-Badge obtained his PhD in embryology at University College London in 1978. After postdoctoral research in Cambridge and Paris, he established his independent laboratory in 1982 at the MRC Mammalian Development Unit, UCL. In 1988 he moved to the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, becoming head of division in 1993. He has had long-standing interests in the biology of stem cells, in how genes work in the context of embryo development, and how decisions of cell fate are made. His current research is on sex determination, development of the nervous system, and the biology of stem cells within the early embryo, the CNS and the pituitary. He is an honorary professor at UCL, a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong, president of the Institute of Animal Technology, and serves on several advisory committees. He is also active in both public engagement and policy work, notably around stem cells, genetics, human embryo and animal research, and the way science is regulated and disseminated.
Dr Julie Maxton
Dr Julie Maxton is the executive director of the Royal Society. Before taking up her position at the Royal Society in 2011 Julie was registrar at the University of Oxford where she is an honorary fellow of University College. Originally trained as a barrister at the Middle Temple Julie combined a career as a practising lawyer with that of an academic, holding a number of senior academic positions, including those of deputy vice chancellor, professor and dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Julie is the author of numerous articles concerned with trusts, equity, commercial and property law. Julie is a bencher of the Middle Temple, a freeman of the Goldsmith’s Company, a board member of Engineering UK, the Charities Aid Foundation, Haberdasher Aske’s School and of the International Advisory Board of the Blavatnik School of Governance at Oxford University.
Mr Nick Ross
Nick Ross read psychology at Queen’s University Belfast and later became a doctor of the University (honoris causa). He has been a leading broadcaster across a wide range of issues. He helped to change the climate of science reporting in the early 90s with an influential series of articles critical of media portrayal of science, and has been a member of the Committee on Public Understanding of Science and twice chairman of the Science Book Prize. He is a regular speaker at science meetings, is president of HealthWatch which campaigns for evidence-based medicine, is a supporter of the Campbell Collaboration, the international partnership to improve scientific methodology in the social sciences, and he founded the new discipline of Crime Science. He is an honorary fellow and visiting professor at UCL.
Professor Jos van der Meer FRCP(Lon) FRCP(Edin) FIDSA MAE
Professor Jos van der Meer is emeritus professor of medicine at Radboud University Nijmegen. He studied medicine at Leiden University, where he also defended his PhD thesis. His main clinical interest is in infectious diseases and his research deals with the host defence against infections. Another major interest is antibiotic policy in the context of antimicrobial resistance. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), for which he served as a vice-president from 2005 to 2011. He is past president of EASAC (European Academies’ Science Advisory Council). He is a member of LOWI, the Netherlands Board of Research Integrity. He is a knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion.
James Wren is fundraising director at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). He is directly responsible for the global fundraising strategy for ZSL which enables the charity to carry out its vital role. James leads the teams at ZSL that work with trusts & foundations, corporations and individual supporters in the UK and overseas. With twenty years’ experience in the not for profit sector in fundraising, project management, marketing and trustee roles James aims to engage as many individuals with good causes as he can. Prior to his career in the not for profit sector James had roles in retail, event management and banking.
Dick Taverne studied philosophy and ancient history at Balliol College, Oxford (First Class Honours). He was called to the Bar in 1954 (appointed QC in 1965), became a Labour member of parliament in 1962 and served as a minister from 1966 to 1970, first in the Home Office and then the Treasury, where he was Financial Secretary. In 1972 he resigned from the Labour Party and was re-elected as an independent social democrat. In the early 1970s he launched the Institute for Fiscal Studies, now one of the most respected institutes in Britain. He has served on the boards of several international companies. In 1996 he was appointed to the House of Lords. In recent years his main political interest has been science and society. He founded Sense about Science in 2002, which he chaired for 10 years until 2012, wrote The March of Unreason – Science, Democracy and the New Fundamentalism (Oxford University Press, 2005) and was voted by the Association of Science Writers as Parliamentary Science Communicator of the Year, 2005. Lord Taverne became a patron of Sense about Science in April 2012.
Dr Janice Taverne
Janice Taverne is a microbiologist/parasitologist/immunologist who was supported by the Medical Research Council for most of her working life. She read zoology at Oxford, and after acquiring a PhD in the bacteriology department of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she worked on trachoma at the Lister Institute of Medicine and then on malaria in the Department of Immunology at the Middlesex Hospital, which became UCL. When she retired she wrote a monthly column for 7 years on internet discussions for Parasitology Today (which became Trends in Parasitology). She has since worked as a volunteer at the Entomology Department of the Natural History Museum learning about parasitic wasps (and acted as her husband’s editor and adviser on scientific matters). Dr Janice Taverne became a patron of Sense about Science in April 2012.