The Longitude Committee

Our Longitude Committee features experts from across the scientific world. They will judge all entries and decide which should win.

  • Lord Martin Rees [Chair]

    Astronomer Royal

    Lord Martin Rees

    Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, OM, Kt, FRS is a Fellow of Trinity College and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. His decorated career in science, covering topics as diverse as black holes and the development of ‘multiverse’ theory, led to his elevation to a life peerage in the House of Lords, where he sits as a crossbencher. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal, as well as being a visiting Professor at Imperial College, London and Leicester University. Lord Martin is the Chair of the Longitude Committee.

  • Andrew Cohen

    Head of BBC Science Unit

    Andrew Cohen - Head of BBC Science Unit

    Andrew is Head of the BBC's award-winning Science Unit. As Executive Producer, he has been intrinsic to the success of a wide variety of high-profile science programming, including Stargazing Live, Wonders of Life, Inside the Human Body and the multi-award winning Wonders of the Solar System. He began a five year spell as the Editor of Horizon in 2005, leading over 100 films for BBC Two, ranging from consumer science to hard-hitting journalism. He has been recognised for his work, including winning an award from the Royal Television Society.

  • Professor Dame Kay Davies

    Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy, Oxford University

    Professor Dame Kay Davies

    An expert in human genetics, Dame Kay became Director of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit in 1999. The unit aims to explore and exploit genome information for gene function analysis in the nervous system. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to science in 2008, and in the same year was appointed as a Governor of the Wellcome Trust. She was promoted to the position of Deputy Chairman of the Trust in 2013. 

  • Professor Dame Sally Davies

    Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

    Professor Dame Sally Davies - Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

    Professor Dame Sally Davies was appointed Chief Medical Officer in 2010. She was a key figure in the development of the National Institute for Health Research, and is a member of the UK Health Innovation Council. Sally also chairs the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and is a fellow of the Royal Society. In 2013, she was listed as the sixth most powerful woman in the UK by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. She is the author of the recent book on anti-microbial resistance, “The Drugs Don’t Work".

  • Dame Athene Donald

    Professor of the Experimental Physics and Master, Churchill College, Cambridge University

    Dame Athene Donald - Professor of the Experimental Physics, Cambridge University

    As a Chair of the Royal Society's Education Committee and a member of the Cambridge University Council, Athene is a hugely respected physicist and educator. Her work with polymers saw her elected a member of the Royal Society in 1999. Throughout her career, she has consistently championed and promoted the role of women in science, chairing the Athena Forum and acting as the University’s representative for gender equality. She was made a Dame in 2010, and the year after was appointed a Trustee of the National Museum of Science in Industry.

  • Iain Gray

    Chief Executive, Technology Strategy Board

    Iain Gray - Chief Executive, Technology Strategy Board

    Iain is the operational head of the TSB, an organisation that works with businesses, policymakers and researchers to encourage and support innovation in the UK. He joined as CEO in 2007, prior to which he was Managing Director of Airbus UK, and an Engineer for BAE Systems. He is a leading Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineers and the Royal Aeronautical Society, and in 2007 was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Medal.

  • Dr Philip Campbell

    Editor in Chief, Nature

    Dr Philip Campbell - Editor in Chief, Nature

    As the Co-Editor of Editorials, editorial content and management at Nature, Philip is at the forefront of science writing in the UK. An expert in the physics of both our own atmosphere and beyond, he holds qualifications from the universities of Bristol, London and Leicester. Philip is also heavily involved in the charitable sector – he is a founding trustee of mental health research funding charity MQ, and was formerly a Trustee of Cancer Research UK. His work and academic achievements have also seen him elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

  • Dame Wendy Hall

    Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton

    Dame Wendy Hall - Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton

    Dame Wendy is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton and Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) from 2002 to 2007. In 2006, she became one of the founding directors of Web Science Research Initiative, alongside Tim Berners-Lee. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year Honours list, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

  • Roger Highfield

    Director of External Affairs, Science Museum

    Roger Highfield - Director of External Affairs, Science Museum

    As a boy, Roger was inspired by the science of the Space Race in the 1960s, and went on to secure a doctorate in physical chemistry from Oxford University. He was the Science Editor of The Daily Telegraph for two decades and the Editor of New Scientist between 2008 and 2011. Today, he is the Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group. Roger has written seven books and had thousands of articles published in newspapers and magazines.

  • Imran Khan

    Chief Executive, British Science Association

    Imran Khan - Chief Executive, British Science Association

    Imran was appointed as the Chief Executive of the BSA, a registered charity that exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering in the UK, in 2013. He is also a Trustee of the charity Practical Action, which looks to alleviate poverty through the application of technology. Imran’s writing about science has appeared across a variety of leading publications, and he has also worked as a senior parliamentary researcher.

  • Professor David Mackay

    Chief Scientific Adviser, DECC

    Professor David Mackay

    David MacKay was appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 1 October 2009.  He studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College, and then went on to Caltech to complete a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems. In 1992 he returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. In 1995 he became a university lecturer in the Department of Physics, where he was promoted in 1999 to a Readership and in 2003 to a Professorship in Natural Philosophy.

  • Geoff Mulgan

    Chief Executive, Nesta

    Geoff Mulgan

    Geoff is the Chief Executive of Nesta, and has been in post since June 2011. Under his leadership, Nesta has moved out of the public sector to become a charity, launching a range of new initiatives in investment, programmes and research. He is a published writer, with four books to his name. In 2004 he became the first Chief Executive of the Young Foundation after a diverse career including roles as the Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown MP, a lecturer in telecommunications, an investment executive and as a reporter on BBC TV and radio.

  • Sir John O’Reilly

    Director General of Knowledge and Innovation, BIS

    Sir John O’Reilly - Director General of Knowledge and Innovation, BIS

    Sir John O’Reilly was appointed Director General of Knowledge and Innovation at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). John came to the department from Cranfield University, where he was Vice Chancellor from December 2006. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Sir John was knighted in 2007 New Year Honours list for services to science.

  • David Rowan

    Editor, Wired Magazine

    David Rowan - Editor, Wired Magazine

    As the Editor of the UK’s most forward-thinking magazine, David Rowan is well-placed to judge the challenges the future might hold. He has written often for The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian, as well as creating and successfully launching a number of magazines into a hyper-competitive print environment. He holds an MA in History from Cambridge University, and he recently moderated the G8 Innovation Summit in London.

  • Dr Martyn Thomas CBE

    Vice-President (External Affairs), Royal Academy of Engineering

    Dr Martyn Thomas CBE - Vice-President (External Affairs), Royal Academy of Engineering

    An expert in secure computer systems, Martyn worked at a number of leading universities before co-creating Praxis, a software engineering company that grew to be internationally recognised. He is currently a visiting professor in computing at Oxford and Bristol universities, in addition to his roles at the Royal Academy of Engineering and as a member of the Deference Scientific Advisory Council. He was awarded a CBE in 2007 for services to software engineering.

  • Sir Mark Walport

    Chief Scientific Advisor

    Sir Mark Walport - Chief Scientific Advisor

    Sir Mark is the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of the United Kingdom, providing knowledge and advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as well as leading the Government Office for Science. In this role, he co-chairs the Council for Science and Technology. He is an expert in immunology, and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is the Director of the Wellcome Trust, and remains involved in academia through his leadership of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College, London.

  • Alice Roberts

    Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham

    Professor Alice Roberts

    Alice Roberts is Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham, and a clinical anatomist, author and broadcaster. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Cheltenham Festival of Science, and a judge for the annual Wellcome Image Awards, celebrating art in science. Alice is the Patron of the Association of Science and Discovery Centres, of Twycross Zoo, and of the Natural Sciences Collections Association. She is an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association, and of the Society of Biology.

  • Professor Peter Piot (Baron Piot)

    Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    Lord Piot is a distinguished expert in microbiology and epidemiology, and has played key roles in understanding some of the deadliest diseases affecting the world today. As well as co-discovering Ebola in 1976, he has made a huge contribution to bringing HIV/ AIDS to the forefront of global agendas; as well as time as President of the International AIDS Society he was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations.

  • Andrew Dunnett

    Director of the Vodafone Foundation

    The Vodafone Foundation funds projects which use mobile communication technologies to address some of the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges and to enhance people's quality of life. Prior to becoming its Director, Andrew was an adviser to the Sustainable Development unit at the UK Department of Trade and Industry. He has extensive experience in corporate responsibility, community investment and public affairs, assisting organisations as diverse as the BBC, the Commission for Racial Equality and Thames Water.

  • David Gibson

    Head of Innovation Centre of Excellence for Global Manufacturing and Supply

    David Gibson is the Head of Innovation within the Global Manufacturing and Supply division of GlaxoSmithKline, looking for new ways of approaching business across the health sector. He is a mentor for the Health XL Startup Accelerator programme, assisting fledgling businesses to transform the wellness market. He has nearly 15 years' experience in innovation in the health sector, founded on his achievements as a first class graduate in biotechnology from Dublin City University.

Scientists