Meet our team
The Intellectual Forum has a small core staff and then works with a wide range of people and organisations who contribute to our work. Some of these are short pieces of project work and some are longer-term interactions. If you would be interested in working with us, please contact us.
Our Director: Dr Julian Huppert
Julian Huppert joined the Forum in 2016 as its founding Director. He is a former Member of Parliament for Cambridge and University Lecturer in Physics, where he worked on unusual structures of DNA.
Since returning to academic life, his research focus changed to look at science and technology policy, including the challenges of privacy in the digital age. He has also worked on how to best use evidence in public policy making – a perennial challenge.
He has a wide range of other interests, working within the NHS, as a Director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, and as Senior independent Trustee of Cycling UK. He was named the ISPA ‘Internet Hero of the Year’ in 2013 and was also voted ‘Parliamentary Beard of the Year’, defeating Jeremy Corbyn.
Our Deputy Director: Dr Sarah Steele
Sarah joined Jesus College in 2017 and is now Deputy Director and a Senior Research Associate at Jesus College, as well as an Affiliated Researcher in the POLIS. Having held posts at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford, amongst other institutions in the UK, USA and Australia, Sarah is a passionate researcher at the interface of Medicine, Law, Criminology, Public Policy, Sociology, and Global Health. Her work explores how we affect social change around issues that impact upon people's wellbeing in contemporary society. She has worked extensively on health and human trafficking, public health responses to exploitation, and clinical responses to vulnerable migrants in the National Health Service. Sarah works with non-government oragnisations and private bodies to support improvements around the world that further health and wellbeing.
Each year the Forum welcomes a cohort of interns from Jesus College. This year we are pleased to welcome:
Freddie Preece: June 2018
Freddie is an undergraduate student at Jesus College, where he is studying towards a BA in Classics. His current research for the Forum explores how generational tensions have changed over time, and what can be done to resolve them. His passion for Classics is typical of his interdisciplinary attitude to life, whether that be his love for technology and astrophysics, or his interests in journalism and literature. He will be coordinating the Rustat Conference on Intergenerationality in June 2018.
Todd Gillespie: June-July 2018
Todd is an undergraduate studying Human, Social and Political Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge, with a focus on history of political thought. He is Deputy Editor of the Cambridge student newspaper, Varsity, has worked in the British and South African national parliaments, and has written for The Sunday Times. He is interested in the challenges facing the media sector and how these may impact existing business models democratic societies. At the Intellectual Forum, Todd will be researching the financial future of journalism, with specific focus on reader loyalty, advertising revenue, and online paywall models.
Victoria Taylor: August-September 2018
Victoria is a Geography finalist and academic scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge. Since matriculating in 2015 she has developed a keen interest in political and cultural geographies. Her third year dissertation is interdisciplinary, combining a personal interest in choral singing with academic ideas from these disciplines. As part of this research she spent time completing fieldwork with choirs for refugee and asylum seekers in London during the summer of 2017. Having found this process intellectually invigorating and inspiring, she plans to build on this research during her time at the Intellectual Forum. Victoria intends to use her experiences to inform policy on the benefits of creative and collaborative integration programmes