This project has been part of the 2020 CUSPE Policy Challenges programme, under the title:

“How can we use community-based networks and resources to jointly tackle the climate emergency with our communities?”

The policy challenges are a collaboration between The Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange and the Cambridgeshire County Council and offer a unique opportunity for early-career researchers to use their analytical skills to benefit the local community, while honing transferable skills, developing an understanding of local government, and engaging firsthand with the practicalities of the evidence/policy interface. 


Project brief:

Climate action at a local level is crucial to tackling the climate crisis, but resources are often limited. However, there are opportunities to draw on existing community networks and resources to tackle the climate emergency in a productive and inclusive way. In particular, young people are a highly important yet underrepresented demographic in addressing climate change in local communities. This study aimed to evaluate how to best engage young people in local climate action by conducting focus groups and surveys with young people in Cambridgeshire. Common principles that should inform community engagement on climate change, particularly with young people, are diverse representation, direct communication channels with local government, and stable financial support.



The Team

Will Moody

Will is a third year PhD student at the MRC Cancer Unit, researching tumour immunology. Will is passionate about environmental education and engagement, and is keen to help formulate policy relating to its implementation across all areas of society. 


Ellie Fox
Ellie is a final-year Geography undergraduate. She is interested in how citizen perspectives and values can be included at the climate science-policy interface for a more socially just future. She is exploring this in the context of the French Citizens’ Convention on Climate Change for her undergraduate dissertation.


Izzy Hampson

Elizabeth (Izzy) Hampson is a final year PhD student at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, working on the fundamental biology of cell signalling. She is interested in the science and policy interface, especially around tackling the climate emergency.


Emma Clarke
Emma is a recent graduate of the MPhil programme in History and Philosophy of Science and is now working in environmental policy for environmental NGO Wildlife and Countryside Link. Influenced by her previous experience as a marine biologist and her passion for nature, she is interested in evidence-informed environmental policy-making.


Lisa Hecker
Lisa is a final year PhD student at the EPSRC Centre for Sensor Technologies and has a multidisciplinary research background with a focus on optical sensing and imaging methods. As a wildlife and nature enthusiast she is particularly interested in applying science & technology for nature conservation and in the use of science for policy, to inform more sustainable decision making.

Olivia Shears
Olivia is a third year PhD student in the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit in the Department of Geography working on coastal salt marsh ecosystems and nature based coastal defences, and as such she’s particularly interested in the evidence-policy interface surrounding hazards, risk and the environment.


Timea Nochta
Dr Timea Nochta is a research associate at the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction. Her research focuses on the urban governance of infrastructure and technology. She is particularly interested in cities and regions as sites for climate change mitigation and socio-technical innovation. 


[Full PDF]

View in Repository

Editorial Board:

Editor-in chief

Michele Sanguanini (Univ. of Cambridge)


Timothy D. Arvan (Univ. of Cambridge), Rosie Bell (Univ. of Cambridge)
Emma Brown (Univ. of Cambridge), Prashanth S. Ciryam (Univ. of Cambridge),
Katie Cohen (Univ. of Cambridge), Simone Eizagirre Barker (Univ. of Cambridge),
Jenny (L.) Jiang (Univ. of Cambridge), Tom Spencer (Univ. of Cambridge),
Daniella Wenger (Univ. of Cambridge)

Communications Officer

James Dickinson (Univ. of Cambridge)

Cover Artwork 

Filip Jovic (Univ. of Cambridge)      


Read More →


Day 1 (23 November): Sustainability challenges of the coming decade

Join us on day one of CUSPE’s forum on ‘Science policy for a sustainable future’ to discuss the environmental and technological challenges our democratic systems will be facing in the coming decade.

Along with expert talks by the Director of research at the Environment Agency and the Director of Cambridge Zero, this day will also see our Horizon 2030 session, which is based on ‘Horizon Scanning’ exercises in the futures toolkit of the Government Office for Science. In this session, students and early-career researchers will predict the outcome of a key trend in their field, a decade into the future.  (find out how to participate in this session under Get your tickets here!


4.30 – 4.40 pm Welcome
4.40 – 5.10 pm Keynote 1: Doug Wilson – Director of Research at Environment Agency
5.10 – 5.40 pm Keynote 2: Emily Shuckburgh – Director of Cambridge Zero
5.40 – 6.00 pm Joint Q&A/Discussion
6.00 – 6.10 pm Introduction to Horizon Scanning
 6.10 – 7.00 pm Student Horizon talks (10×5 min)


Day 2 (24 November): “How can individuals encourage positive and lasting change?”

Join us on day two of the Forum to discuss how individuals can encourage positive and lasting change around environmental policy and sustainability. Together with speakers from different institutions we will explore various perspectives on the roles and responsibilities that different institutions (government, citizens, corporations, etc) have to play to bring about systemic change, and how (and whether) individuals can make a difference.

4.30 – 4.40 pm Welcome & Introduction to day 2
4.40 – 5.30 pm




Introduction of the Panellists:

      • Emily Bolton – Climate Change Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council
      • Philip Verpoort – Co-Director of Sortition Foundation
      • Eugenie Dugoua – Environmental Economist at LSE
      • Chidi Oti Obihara – Extinction Rebellion
5.30 – 6.30 pm Panel Discussion on “How can individuals encourage positive and lasting change around environmental policy and sustainability?”


Day 3 (25 November): The Role of academia in a Green Transformation

Join us on the final day of the Forum to hear how academic research can support evidence-based decision making and support more sustainable policies.

Along with expert talks e.g. by the Director of the Centre for Environmental Policy, we will hear about opportunities for early career researchers to interact with policy makers and gain work experience at the science-policy interface

6.30 – 7.00 pmCareers Q&A

4.30 – 4.40 pm Welcome and introduction to day 3
4.40 – 5.10 pm Keynote 1: Mark Burgman – Director of Centre for Environmental Policy
5.10 – 5.40 pm Keynote 2: Ellen Quigley – Responsible Investment advisor at University of Cambride
5.40 – 6.00 pm Joint Q&A/Discussion
6.00 – 6.30 pm





Careers talk on:

  • Government Office for Science Placements
  • Publishing and Editing at Cambridge Journal for Science and Policy
  • Policy Challenges with the Cambridgeshire County Council

And more