November 21st, 6:30 pm – Gonville and Caius College, Bateman Auditorium

Register here.


Gene editing, where should we draw a line? How far can we go?

The use of genetic techniques to edit human genes is one of the most controversial topics in modern science.

Should these be used only as research tools, or should we aim to use them to eradicate diseases? If so, what would the implications be, and are the risks too high?

In this event we will aim to consider all of these questions and more, through lectures given by three experts in the fields of gene editing, bioethics and law. The intersection where these topics meet will be explored and further discussed through a panel and questions from the chair and audience.


Dr. Sarah Chan

Sarah is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with the degrees of LLB and BSc (Hons) and spent some years as a laboratory scientist in the field of molecular biology before moving to work in science policy and bioethics

Dr. Jayne Spink

Jayne is the CEO of Genetic Alliance UK where she develops strategies together with trustees and staff and oversees business support functions – including finance, fundraising and governance. She also provides oversight of their policy and public affairs work, member and public engagement, support services and research.

Elizabeth Bohm

Elizabeth was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Royal Society and is currently Head of International at the Academy of Medical Science. With a background in law, ethics and biology, she is interested in where these things meet.


CUSPE Workshops present ‘How to Target your Message – Learning from Psychometricians, Election Pollsters and Communication Experts‘ on 16th November 2017 from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm at the Barbara White Room, Newnham College.

***Places for the workshop are limited to 40 attendees so please tell us how you will benefit from attending the workshop at the end of the registration form. We will send a confirmation email to you if you have secured a place.***

Register here:

Event description:

You might know your science very well, but do you know your audience? While targeted messaging is a common practice among politicians, businesses and the press, scientists can be slow to realise that facts alone do not always convince. We believe that “if you can’t beat them, join them”. We have invited experts from the fields of psychometrics, polling and communications to share with us their expertise. Join us if you are interested in understanding why people think the way they do about certain policies, advertisements or a newspaper headlines. Not to forget, the lessons from the workshop will surely be applicable to how you frame your own research!


Joe Twyman, founding director of YouGov. Currently the Head of Political and Social Research for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Having dedicated his career to election studies, often in foreign countries, Joe is frequently featured on major TV channels providing expert election analysis.

Vesselin Popov, the Business Development Director of the Psychometric Centre of the Cambridge Judge Business School. His expertise is on the use of Big Data Psychology in developing products strategies.

Sam Jeffers, the Co-founder of Who Targets Me?, a project that investigates and monitors how politicians are trying to win your vote through targeted Facebook advertising.


Event will be followed by a drinks reception.

November 2nd, 19:30-21:00 – Emmanuel College, Queens Lecture Theatre

Scientist, Councillor, Politician: Meet Julian Huppert

For anyone who’s been in Cambridge long enough, Julian was the lynchpin of the Liberal Democrat stronghold in Cambridge from 2010 to 2015. To others, he is a distinguished biologist and ex-fellow of Clare College.

Recognised as the ‘top backbencher’ in The Telegraph’s list of ‘Most Influential Lib Dems’, Julian was has been seen by some as a voice for rationality in the emotion-driven Commons.

Effective Altruism Cambridge, 80,000 Hours Cambridge, Cambridge University Liberal Association and Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange are excited to co-host this event about scientific approaches to policy-making.

As always, the event is open to all, including those not affiliated with the university.

Facebook event here:

October 30, 18:30-20:00 followed by reception

Cripps Court Auditorium (Chesterton Road, near Magdalene College main court)

Sign up here.

Big Data, Psychometrics, targeted advertising: Data Science is changing how politicians and other influencers interact with the public.

“Dark Ads” on Facebook are only shown to people with specific views, tailored to their interests and fears. Do they prevent the public debates that are so fundamental to democracy? Do psychometrics and the merging of methods from Data Science and psychology allow manipulation of public opinion on an unprecedented scale? Or is this all just exaggerated by the media and nothing has fundamentally changed? On the contrary, does data journalism provide a great opportunity for a well informed public debate?

Join us on to discuss these recent developments with the following speakers:

Dr. Mark Pack, co-author of 101 Ways To Win An Election and former Head of Innovations at the Liberal Democrats where he ran the party’s 2001 and 2005 internet general election campaigns (

Megan Lucero, Director of the “data crunching hub” The Bureau Local at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Formerly the Data Journalism Editor at The Times and Sunday Times (

Dr. David Stillwell, Deputy Director of The Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge and Lecturer in Big Data Analytics and Quantitative Social Science at the Cambridge Judge Business School (


Image by “gdsteam” publicly available on flickr under the creative commons licence (CC BY 2.0)

October 23, 18:00-20:00

Junior Parlour, Trinity College

Sign up here.

Trinity’s Post-Doctoral Society and Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange introduce Cambridge-based science-policy organisations.




Trinity’s Post-Doctoral Society aims that Postdoctoral researchers can meet others from different disciplines, share ideas, and enhance their Cambridge experience. Based on this premise we joint efforts.

Cambridge Science and Policy Exchange (CUSPE)

CUSPE is an organisation run by and for early-career researchers. Founded in 2012, the society strives to support young researchers who wish either to influence policy from within the research environment of the University or to pursue directly a career with the governments of the UK or European Union. CUSPE aims to:

  1. Raise awareness of the role of science and evidence in government decision- and policy-making amongst early-career researchers at Cambridge.
  2. Provide professional development opportunities for such researchers who might be interested in a career in policy.
  3. Create and strengthen links between early-career researchers and policy makers for the mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding.

Joint Event

Why is the science-policy interaction important? What is the role of this interaction in the ‘post-truth’ era? Did scientists loose part of their credibility and can we restore this?

Our special guest, Rob Doubleday, Executive Director of the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), will give his views on the importance of science-policy interaction in the opening word. His general perspective will be followed by the introduction of several Cambridge-based policy initiatives.

CUSPE, Polygeia and Food Security Forum will introduce their goals and upcoming events, these initiatives all fit into the Science for Policy landscape. The policy fraction of PdOC on the other hand, focuses on Policy for Science and will be introduced by the PdOC president.