Our Team


Tracey Brown OBE

Tracey Brown has been the director of Sense about Science since 2002. Under her leadership, the charity has turned the case for sound science and evidence into popular campaigns to urge scientific thinking among the public and the people who answer to them. It has launched important initiatives to expand and protect honest discussions of... More

Nita Pillai

Head of Programmes and Operations
Nita has over 10 years experience working for a range of non-profit organisations working across policy and research. Nita was previously at the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) where she oversaw their portfolio of projects focused around training and upskilling anaesthsia providers in low and middle income countries. Prior to that, at the... More

Mariam Kazem-Malaki

Policy and research manager
Mariam joined Sense about Science in 2020 as the policy and research manager. After a career working in the UK parliament and local government she developed a passion for engaging people in subjects that might otherwise seem inaccessible to them. Mariam delivers our policy activity, including Evidence Week and Transparency of Evidence. She also leads on our... More

Ilaina Khairulzaman

Head of international public engagement, training and marketing
Ilaina joined the team in October 2017. Ilaina has a research masters in immunology from Trinity College Dublin and is trained as a bioinformatician. After a year of clicking away on her computer looking at dolphin genes, she realised she much preferred spreading the word of science than she did doing the science. Ilaina works... More

Dr Hamid Khan

Programme Manager - Research Culture and Quality
Hamid joined Sense about Science in January 2019 as the public engagement coordinator and is now Programme Manager for Research Culture and Quality. He heads the Voice of Young Science (VoYS) network in the UK, our unique, Europe-wide network of early career researchers (ECRs). Hamid coordinates institutional partnerships with the VoYS programme, developing new relationships... More

Joshua Gascoyne

Policy officer
Joshua joined the team in February 2020 on an 8 week internship, and was appointed programmes officer on it's completion in April 2020. In May 2021 he became policy officer. He is enthusiastically supporting the Ask for Evidence campaign and Voice of Young Science programme, working to encourage other early career researchers to discuss the... More


Rebecca Asher

Rebecca has been an associate at Sense about Science since 2020, having previously spent three years as deputy director. Before that she worked in the media, as a producer in television news and current affairs, an executive producer at BBC Radio 4, and leading a range of editorial standards projects at the BBC Trust. Rebecca... More

Emily Jesper-Mir

Emily joined Sense about Science in 2011 as assistant director, and from 2016 headed our public engagement programme helping scientists to communicate difficult research findings simply and accurately. She also led our peer review programme, which included chairing our peer review workshops for early career researchers. In addition, Emily oversaw our many partnerships, took care of financial management, and... More

Leonor Sierra

Leonor joined Sense About Science in 2008, after completing her PhD in Physics at the University of Cambridge, as a Scientific Liaison, and eventually became Science and Policy Manager in 2010 until 2012. Leonor planned the initial stages of international development, managing relationships with partners and key individuals including donors, supporters, and high-profile scientists. She... More


Avinash Harkison

Avinash is a PhD Student working in Mathematical Biology at the University of Nottingham; looking at how to apply mathematical techniques together with experimental data to model cell migration. Avinash is eager to work with Sense about Science as part of his PIPS placement to learn more about how science and evidence is communicated between... More

Caitlin Hounsell

Caitlin is a PhD Student at the University of Birmingham studying cell death and regenerative biology with implications for cancer research. Caitlin is excited to be a part of the Sense about Science team, as part of her PIPs placement, and contribute to the goal of Sense about Science to encourage early career researchers to... More

Kassandra Moosbrugger

Kassandra is a language and interculturality student at Edinburgh Napier University, planning to pursue her further studies in the field of science communication. She is particularly excited to get some hands-on experience and to support the unique and passionate mission of Sense About Science. During the pandemic is has become especially clear that evidence based... More

Sarah Kerr

Sarah is a BBSRC-funded PhD student at the University of Nottingham studying the potential of bacteriophages as an alternative treatment to antibiotics for resistant bacterial infections. The uncertainties and misinformation created by the Covid-19 pandemic led her to an internship with Sense About Science. She hopes to improve her skills in science communication in order... More



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