Leading experts at the University of Bath, Professors Carole Mundell and Lorraine Whitmarsh, facilitated by the Institute for Policy Research (IPR), will feature amongst a high-profile programme of speakers participating in this week’s Policy Festival, run by the Policy Profession.

The week-long festival is the first of its type open to civil servants across government. Showcasing the dedication and expertise of policy professionals at all levels across the UK, it aims to provide civil servants with the opportunity to network, collaborate, and learn about policymaking, including from key academics.

Across panel discussions, interactive masterclasses and in-person opportunities, the programme covers major policy areas, including policy across the UK and levelling up; health and cross-system collaboration; science and policy; international perspectives in policy; and celebrating achievement in policy.

On Monday, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath, and Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy, Professor Carole Mundell, will join Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, Susan Acland-Hood, for a special, in-conversation event as part of the programme.

Professor Mundell was appointed the first woman Chief Scientific Adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2018 and appointed as the first Chief International Science Envoy in the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in 2020. In 2021, she was elected first woman President of the UK Science Council. Together with Susan, she will share her biggest lessons learnt, where policymaking has gone well – or not – and why.

On Wednesday 11 May, environmental psychologist at the University of Bath, and Director of the Centre for Climate and Social Transformations (CAST), Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh MBE, will participate in a panel session on the role that behavioural science - ‘nudge’ - can play in informing and shaping effective policy, and in understanding the role of a policy professional.

She’ll be joined by panellists, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, Professor Susan Michie; Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, Dame Professor Theresa Marteau; Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team, David Halpern; and Net Zero Strategy: Deputy Director of Governance, Delivery and Systems at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jonathan Hoare, as Chair.