Announced today and starting January 2023, Dr Tamsin Edwards, a King’s climate expert and IPCC author, will be working alongside Parliamentary research staff to share impartial expertise and knowledge of policy relating to climate and research.
As part of a new embedded advisory role funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Dr Edwards has been selected to lead on climate and environment, as Parliament looks to strengthen evidence-based policy making.
Based on the concept of Chief Scientific Advisers, her role will ensure a strong evidence base for debate and legislation. This includes bringing insights from the wider academic community and support horizon scanning to ensure that Parliamentarians and their staff can access high quality and relevant research briefing on current and future issues.
We are proud to announce that Dr Tamsin Edwards, one of our leading climate scientists here at King’s, has been appointed as a Thematic Research Lead. Tamsin has shown us all how to communicate science evidence clearly and how to engage widely. She has an exceptional ability to shift from the technical detail required for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to accessible and entertaining presentation of issues on stage, radio, blogs, popular science books and social media. We will all learn a lot from her contributions in this new role.– Professor Rachel Mills, Senior Vice President (Academic)
One of three Thematic Research Leads, Dr Edwards will be joining the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), a bicameral body within the UK Parliament with more than 30 years of experience in sourcing reliable and up-to-date research evidence for the UK Parliament, and one of the first organisations of its kind in the world.
Dr Edwards will be positioned in the new thematic policy hub on climate and environment, which brings together staff from POST, the House of Commons Library and Select Committee teams – with the aim of greater coordination and a better flow of research information through Parliament.
For nearly ten years, the ESRC has collaborated with Parliament by investing in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). Together, they have embedded social science research in Parliament, developed a world-leading Knowledge Exchange Unit, and established a culture of knowledge exchange between Parliament and the research community.
The role of research and evidence in policy making has never been more important. Building on the work of POST, these fellowships will play a vital role, giving parliamentarians further access to the very best independent evidence to inform their business and ensure effective and equitable policy.– Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Professor Alison Park, Interim Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), said: “I look forward to seeing the ways in which these roles put research evidence at the heart of Parliament's work to address the most pressing societal challenges. In particular, I hope this new investment will continue to build the capability of Parliament to work with academics, as well as helping to create a new generation of policy-minded academics."
Dr Tamsin Edwards, Reader in Climate Change in the Department of Geography is a climate scientist specialising in quantifying the uncertainties of climate model predictions, particularly for the ice sheet and glacier contributions to sea level rise. She was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report in 2021, a Contributing Author to two IPCC reports in 2019 and 2022, and a co-author of the UK Climate Projections 2018.
Dr Edwards regularly provides advice on climate science to the public, policy makers, media, business and charities. She is an award-winning communicator – most recently, receiving the Royal Meteorological Society Climate Science Communications Award in 2021 – including through her blog for the Public Library of Science, PLoS (All Models Are Wrong), and articles for the Guardian.
She also co-presented the BBC Radio 4 series “39 Ways to Save the Planet”.
The other Thematic Research Leads will cover parliament, public administration and constitution, and international affairs and defence.