Policy Profile: Dr Jade Hall MRSB

The RSB's senior science policy officer on her work to help scientists thrive whatever their background

8th September 2021 

What do you do at the RSB?

I'm responsible for policy activities that tend to be related to the individual scientist – so anything from science funding to research integrity or publication policy.

In the last couple of months work around diversity and inclusion (D&I) has really taken off and that now takes up a large part of my role. I support the Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (consisting of representatives from RSB’s Member Organisations) and the Diversity and Inclusion Network (consisting of a D&I representative from each of the RSB’s many committees and groups).

I also focus on disseminating policy news – working on the Society’s science policy newsletter, its research communications newsletter, and managing the RSB Policy Resource Library.

Which aspects do you particular enjoy working on?

The pandemic has exacerbated and brought to the surface the inequalities of marginalised groups within the scientific community, and it has been insightful getting people in the same room who have expertise across our member organisations to share best practice about the fantastic resources and initiatives that are currently out there.

I really love connecting different people, and a great strength of the RSB is its ability to bring people together across the whole biological discipline.

What are the big topics and challenges on the horizon for your areas of policy?

In my opinion it's making sure that we are supporting our next generation of scientists – looking at work culture, research culture, and making sure that we're providing an environment where they can really thrive regardless of background. I also think the continuation of public trust is also important, making sure that we're reaching the different communities that make up the public.

How did you get into working in science policy?

My background is very varied. I worked for a biotechnology company during my biology undergrad, have an MSc in ecology, evolution and conservation, and a PhD in biomechanics and animal welfare science.

After my PhD, I felt the transferable skills from my PhD would be well suited to supporting and disseminating roles. I like learning about a broad range of scientific topics and explaining them to a range of people. And I have friends that work for Defra, who inspired me to investigate a role in policy.

Dr Jade Hall is a senior science policy officer at the RSB.