Vitae Policy Forum 201112 January 2011 - 13 January 2011
Dr Stephen Axford
- Presenter Organisation
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Presenter Job
- Head of Science and Society
- Sessions & Workshops
- New government priorities for research and researchers
Stephen Axford is Head of Science and Society, in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where his team leads on delivering a range of key Ministerial and Government objectives. Science and society is central to the Government's aim of improving the social and economic well-being of the country, with our current priority being the development and implementation of a UK-wide strategy. Following a major public consultation in 2008, we were able to confirm the main challenges we face: making sure that science education in schools is exciting, demanding and of a high quality; recognising and rewarding people who undertake public engagement on science; improving equality and diversity within the scientific workforce; and increasing public confidence in science and research, and its application. The recent establishment of five, independently-led expert groups, covering these areas, will allow us to improve the relationships between the science community, society and policy-makers, and will strengthen government's leadership role in drawing together the rich and diverse science and society community to deliver the key elements of the strategy.
Following an academic career as a physical chemist, Stephen joined the civil service in 1997. He has previously worked in defence and environment departments before taking up his current post in 2008. When time allows, he is an enthusiastic musician and sportsman, as well as enjoying good food and wine.