Melanie Smallman is an academic, communications specialist, campaigner and policy adviser, interested in the relationship between science, technology and society.
Training initially in life-sciences, Melanie has a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from UCL and an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College. She has worked for a variety of UK based science and environmental organisations including the Natural Environment Research Council and The Science Museum. For eight years, until 2011, she was a communications adviser to the Chief Scientist in Defra, tasked with rebuilding public confidence in Defra’s use of science. She is Director of Think-Lab, a science and environmental policy and communications consultancy and a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at UCL where she is Deputy Director of the UK hub for Responsible Research and Innovation. In the 2016-17 academic year, Melanie will be teaching:
HPSC3030: Investigating Contemporary Science (Term 1)
HPSCGA47 Responsible science and innovation (Term 1)
HPSC3036 Governing Emerging Technologies (Term 2)
Melanie has recently returned from a Visiting Fellowship in Science, Technology and Society, at the Harvard Kennedy School, working with Professor Sheila Jasanoff. Her research looks at the ways in which the public come to understand new and emerging science and technologies and how these views influence policy, and how evidence is understood and used in policymaking. She is currently developing new research looking at the role of technologies in growing economic inequality and how these economic effects in turn influence perceptions of science and technology.
Melanie is also a passionate environmental campaigner. Currently co-Chair of environment campaign SERA, she works closely with senior politicians at a National and Local level to help develop more sustainable and inclusive environmental policies and regularly writes and commentates in the media on issues including air pollution and renewable and community energy.