James Wilsdon

Executive Director

Executive Director, RoRI

James was one of the founders of RoRI and has been its director since 2019. He is also Professor of Research Policy at University College London (UCL), based in its Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP). Since the late-1990s, as a researcher, writer, adviser and campaigner, James has worked at the heart of science and research policy in the UK and internationally. In addition to academic posts at the universities of Sheffield, Sussex and Lancaster, he has worked in think tanks, NGOs and as director of science policy for the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences. 

In his work, James has advanced concepts such as upstream public engagement, science diplomacy, responsible metrics and responsible research assessment; and he has co-founded or chaired initiatives such as People & Planet; the Campaign for Social Science; International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA); UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics; and the Research on Research Institute (RoRI).

In 2014, James was asked to chair an independent UK government review of research metrics, published as The Metric Tide. He subsequently chaired a European Commission expert group on Next Generation Metrics, and in 2022, revisited these debates with colleagues in Harnessing the Metric Tide.

In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences, and in 2022, of the International Science Council.