James Wilsdon

Professor of Science and Democracy, University of Sussex (Brighton, United Kingdom)

James Wilsdon is Professor of Science and Democracy at SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Sussex. He is also an Associate Fellow at Nesta, a charitable foundation that provides investments and grants for mobilizing research, networks, and skills.

From 2008 to 2011, Professor Wilsdon was the founding Director of the Science Policy Centre at the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of science, where he oversaw influential studies on topics such as geoengineering, food security, science diplomacy, open science, and the prospects for science in the Islamic world. He also led the Royal Society's evidence gathering and advocacy for investment in research through the 2010 U.K. general election and subsequent spending review.

Prior to this, Professor Wilsdon was Head of Science and Innovation (2004-2008) and Head of Strategy (2001-2004) at the think-tank Demos, and Senior Policy Adviser (1997-2001) at the sustainability non-profit organization Forum for the Future. At Demos, he was also project director of The Atlas of Ideas, a two-year study of science in emerging economies, described by the Financial Times as “the most comprehensive analysis yet of science and innovation in China, India and South Korea.” From 2006 to 2008, he was a part-time Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University's Institute for Advanced Studies.

Professor Wilsdon has researched and written widely on science policy, emerging technologies and the globalization of research, and his publications include: The Scientific Century (2010), China: The Next Science Superpower? (2007), The Public Value of Science (2005) and See-through Science (2004). He reviews regularly for the Financial Times and Times Higher Education, and has also written for Nature, The Guardian, China Daily, Green Futures, openDemocracy and SEED Magazine.

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