We're delighted to announce our main speakers:


Reflections on science, policy and leadership during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic’ (Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Senior Strategy Adviser in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham)

'Research evidence for public policy' (Stian Westlake, ESRC)

'Democratic renewal, people-powered change, and visions for participation in the 21st century' (Polly Curtis, Demos, and Reema Patel, Ipsos)

'The good, the bad and the ugly of AI in qualitative analysis' (Christina Silver, CAQDAS and Steve Wright, University of Central Lancashire)


stian westlakeStian Westlake

Stian Westlake is Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). He joined in June 2023.  Before this, he served as Chief Executive of the Royal Statistical Society, as Executive Director of Policy and Research at Nesta, as adviser to three UK science ministers and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.  Stian’s research interests include the economics and politics of innovation, research and technology.He is a regular commentator on science and innovation policy, and co-author of ‘Restarting the Future: How to Fix the Intangible Economy’ and ‘Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy’.






polly curtisPolly Curtis

Polly Curtis is Chief Executive of Demos.  Polly spent much of her career at the Guardian where she reported on health, social affairs and education, before joining the lobby team as Whitehall Editor, writing about government and policy. She went on to be digital editor of the Guardian, then led newsrooms as Editor-in-Chief at HuffPost UK, a Partner at Tortoise Media and Managing Director at PA Media.Her book, Behind Closed Doors, an investigation into social services in England, was published by Virago in February 2022 and was a finalist in the Orwell Prize for political writing. In it, she sets a vision for a different way that the state and communities can work together to solve problems. She serves as a trustee of the Public Interest News Foundation, as well as a Non-Executive Director of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.





reema patelReema Patel

Reema has undertaken work at the cross-section of three fields- technology ethics, public engagement and diversity.  She co-founded the Ada Lovelace Institute where she established its work on public engagement and participation. She is an author of several Ada Lovelace Institute’s reports, including Beyond Face Value, Rethinking Data, The Data Divide and Participatory Data Stewardship among others. She also co-authored a report for On Think Tanks on the global evidence base for public engagement.Before working at the Ada Lovelace Institute, Reema advised the Bank of England on their approach to public engagement and participation in economics, work that was endorsed by the Bank’s Chief Economist in an official speech entitled Climbing the Public Engagement Ladder. She continues to serve as a member of the Bank of England’s Central Bank Digital Currency Engagement Forum, and is a Senior Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab.




christina silverChristina Silver

Dr Christina Silver is a researcher and facilitator of qualitative data analysis methods and digital tools. She is Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, where she is also Director of the CAQDAS Networking Project which since 1994 has raised awareness and built capacity in the use of qualitative software. She is also Co-Director of the department’s Short Courses in Social Research programme.  Christina has trained many thousands of researchers and students in qualitative methods/software since 1998.







steven wright

Steven Wright

Dr Steven Wright is an independent CAQDAS consultant and accredited trainer for ATLAS.ti, NVivo, MAXQDA and Quirkos. His core interests are in methods development and translation into effective and innovative use of software tools and teaching and supporting these for researchers. He is the author of a series of datasets for SAGE Research Methods exploring new developments in CAQDAS packages including working with auto-transcription, machine-learning content analysis and systematic reviews as well as developing guidance for working with phenomenological approaches.He worked as a qualitative research consultant and learning technologist at Lancaster University for 18 years, and is now Senior Lecturer in Medical Education at the University of Central Lancashire.





jonathan van tamm

Sir Jonathan Van-Tam

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam Kt, MBE, FMedSci, is a doctor and public health specialist with a clinical background in emergency medicine, anaesthesia and infectious diseases. He is an expert on respiratory viruses and pandemics and currently Senior Strategy Adviser to the University of Nottingham School of Medicine. His career has also taken him to Public Health England, the World Health Organization, and the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Jonathan was seconded to the Department of Health and Social Care in 2017-22 as Deputy Chief Medical Officer. He is well-known for his leadership role during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly his straight, no-nonsense, communication style from the podium at No.10 Downing Street, and for the acquisition and rollout of vaccines and antiviral drugs in the UK. He received a knighthood from Her late Majesty the Queen in her 2022 New Year’s Honours List, for services to public health. Alongside numerous other eponymous lectures, he was awarded the Royal Society’s Attenborough Award and Lecture 2022, for outstanding public engagement in science.



diarmid campbell-jack

Diarmid Campbell-Jack

Conference Chair - Diarmid Campbell-Jack has worked in the Cabinet Office since 2022, following previous jobs at Ecorys, ScotCen and Save the Children. His current work focuses on research and evaluation on leadership & management training, an important part of making sure civil servants and public sector staff have the requisite skills, knowledge, and networks to do their jobs effectively. Diarmid is an SRA Trustee and former Co-Chair.