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.
Our Administrator: Georgia Orwell
Georgia joined the Intellectual Forum in 2018 as its Administrator. After studying Music at the University of Birmingham and Production Management at the National Film and Television School, Georgia worked as a production co-ordinator in television broadcast for several years on programmes such as the BBC Proms, The National Television Awards and Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year.
Our Past and Current Interns
Each year the Forum welcomes a cohort of interns from Jesus College. This year we were 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 disinformation and government policy.
Victoria Taylor: July-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.
Intellectual Forum Visiting Scholars and Senior Research Associates
Each year the Forum welcomes a cohort of highly experienced individuals from diverse backgrounds to interact with students, Fellows, alumni and the public at Jesus College. This year we are pleased to welcome:
Tom King is the founder of Aviso, a strategic consultancy helping non-profit civil society organisations build collaborative partnerships for more impact, and providing political advisory services that improve investment decisions. He is also the founder of 22nd Century Democracy, which aims to build a new consensus on the future of global and national democratic institutions and procedures. Tom was previously head of partnerships at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, where he helped to create the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium. He has also worked as a leading political analyst to financial investors, and as a researcher in the UK Parliament.
Dr Rosamunde Almond
Rosamunde’s PhD and her first post-doc were in primate behaviour, and her interest in sustainability stems from her second post-doc in the Zoology Department at Cambridge, where she modelled factors that influence whether the use of wild animals and plants in Asia is sustainable. She then built on this at UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge where she developed new indicators of sustainable use of wild animals and plants for the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership.
In parallel with her research, she has always been passionate about science communication and she worked as an independent consultant editor for WWF on their Living Planet Report in 2010 and in 2012, helping to turn their biannual flagship publication into compelling and engaging reports about on the state of biodiversity and how our consumption and our ‘footprint’ affects the natural world.
At the end of 2010, she started to work for one of the University’s Strategic Initiatives, the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) as one of two Programme Managers of the Shared Challenges Programme, catalyzing and coordinating collaborative projects between CCI partner organisations and the departments within the University of Cambridge. In June 2012, she became the CCI Programmes Coordinator and she began to work for the Forum as the Executive Secretary in March 2013 before becoming Deputy Director in September 2016.
Dr Steven Wooding
Steve Wooding is lead for Research and Analysis at CSaP. He is setting up a policy research programme to build on CSaP's Policy Fellowship programme and Policy Workshops. Steve has 15 years of policy research experience, previously at RAND Europe, where he held various senior roles and co-directed a Department of Health research unit.
Steve is developing research on how best to compile and synthesize evidence to support policy making, and the visualisation and communication of that evidence. Alongside this Steve examines the most effective funding models for biomedical research and its impact on society.
Gaylene Preston is arguably New Zealand’s leading independent film maker, with a particular interest in documentary films. She has made some 25 professional films, and won numerous awards personally and for the films, including being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), and the first film maker to be made a Laureate by the new Zealand Arts Foundation. She came to Jesus last year with Helen Clark, for the European Premiere of her film ‘My year with Helen’. During conversations, it transpired that her first film had been made in 1972 while she was in Cambridge, working as Assistant Librarian at Fulbourn Hospital.