Science meats policy – Designing a unified policy: the case of meat consumption

Date: 14th of March 2016
Time: 17:30-20:30
Venue: Lucia Windsor Room, Newnham College

The key question motivating this workshop is ‘how are policies designed, and what makes it so challenging to design good policies?’ CUSPE wants to help early career researchers understand what the real interaction between science and policy is. We want to inspire you to consider engaging with policy throughout your career, and to equip you with the skills that will allow you to do so effectively.

This workshop provides participants with an insight into the process of policy design and will portray the communication difficulties commonly experienced during science-policy exchanges. It will be focused on the specific policy challenge of reducing meat consumption but no prior knowledge is required.

Two academic experts will propose reasons why reducing meat consumption is necessary both from a health and an environmental perspective. Attendants will be divided into groups representing different stakeholders. By the end of the evening each group will have pitched a policy proposal to the ‘cabinet office’. A policy expert will then provide feedback on the exercise, and will shed light on how real science-policy exchanges actually work.


Prof Theresa Marteau

Director of Behaviour and Health Research Unit

Prof Marteau is Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge.

Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions to change behaviour (principally diet, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol consumption) to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, with a particular focus on targeting non conscious processes. Other research interests include (a) risk perception and communication particular of biomarker-derived risks, and their weak links with behaviour change, and (b) the role of evidence for behaviour change in policy. 

She is Director of Studies for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge. She supervises Introduction to Psychology in Part 1 of the Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos.

Ciarán Hayes

Senior Strategy Adviser, Department of Health

Ciarán Hayes works in the Strategy Unit of the Department of Health. Prior to taking up this role in October 2014, he was Head of the Higher Education, Science and Innovation Branch at HM Treasury, where he led HM Treasury’s work on the expansion of the Small Business Research Initiative.

Before this, he worked at the Department for Education (DfE) as team leader for Sure Start & Early Intervention (2011-12) and Head of the Economic Analysis Unit (2010-11) working on the 2010 Spending Review. He spent the previous five years as a Fast Stream economist and then Economic Adviser at the DfE’s predecessor Departments (DCSF and DfES) working on policies such as school competition and choice, early years education and children’s policy, payment by results and social impact bonds.

Ciarán read Economics and Management at the University of Oxford before completing a Master’s in European Social Policy at the London School of Economics.

Ms Rachel Shairp

Programme Coordinator at Chatham House

Rachel Shairp is a Programme Coordinator in the Energy, Environment and Resources Department at Chatham House, working across projects relating to food security and climate change. Before joining Chatham House, Rachel worked for the Conventions and Policy team at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. She has a Bachelor of Laws from Durham University and an MSc in Conservation Science from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, now based at the University of Kent.



Places for the workshop are limited to 25 attendees. To apply for a place, please email by 4pm on Sunday 6th of March telling us:

1. Your name and position at the University (e.g. PhD student, department of Physics);

2. Why you think this workshop can benefit you, and;

3. What you want or hope to achieve from it. (five sentences max please)

We will use this information to invite 25 of you to attend, and we will operate a waiting list system so that as many of the rest of you can benefit from this opportunity!