ACSS members

Advisory Committee for Social Science member biographies. The Advisory Committee for Social Science comprises an independent Chair, seven expert members and one lay member.

Member biographies

Professor Susan Michie (Chair)

Susan Michie, FMedSci, FAcSS, is a Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London. Susan is a chartered clinical and health psychologist, and elected Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences, Academy of Social Sciences, where she Chaired the Academy’s ‘Health of People’ Advisory Committee, as well as the USA’s Academy of Behavioural Medicine Research and its Society of Behavioural Medicine. She has also served on NICE’s Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee. Her research focuses on behaviour change in relation to health, and investigating innovative methods for developing, evaluating and implementing behavioural intentions in three main health domains: risk factors among the population, managing long-term conditions and professional practice.

Ms Julie Hill (Deputy Chair/lay member)

Julie Hill has a background in environmental policy and politics. She has been Executive Director of Green Alliance (a leading UK NGO), Deputy Chair of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (which led the public debate on GM crops), a board member of the Eden Project and of the Environment Agency for England and Wales. She is presently Chair of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and Independent Board Member of the Consumer Council for Water, and a member of the Council of the Institution of Environmental Sciences. She has written extensively on environmental issues, including a popular book ‘The Secret Life of Stuff’.

Professor George Gaskell (Expert member)

George Gaskell has been on the London School of Economics (LSE) faculty since 1971, for 21 years as a member of the Social Psychology Department; then as co-founder and director of the Department of Methodology; Pro-Director Planning and Resources and Special Advisor to LSE’s President. External roles include membership of EFSA’s Advisory Group on Risk Communication. Research interests include behavioural science; expert, and lay, representations of risk; social and ethical implications of the life sciences, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Other notable roles include Director of LSE and Partners Consortium on Behavioural Science, conducting studies in support of European Commission policy making.

Professor Julie Barnett (Expert member)

Julie Barnett is Professor in Health Psychology and a member of the leadership team of the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath. Julie is a social psychologist with research experience and interests around risk perception and risk communication, social media and the social dimensions of data science. Other recent projects have focused on the impact of food allergy legislation, trust and empathy in the digital age, loneliness and social prescribing. Over the last fifteen years she has led and collaborated on interdisciplinary projects funded by UK research councils, the European Commission, charities and UK government departments and agencies. 

Dr Seda Erdem (Expert member)

Seda Erdem is a Senior Lecturer of Economics at the University of Stirling. She has a background in behavioural science and food economics. Her research broadly focuses on eliciting preferences and perceptions, consumer choice behaviour and decision-making in the areas of food, health and agriculture. Other areas of interest include survey methodologies and data analysis. She is leading a research theme of the Global Food Security Programme at the University of Stirling. Erdem also has significant experience in social science consultancy for a range of governmental institutions internationally. 

Professor Spencer Henson (Expert member)

Spencer Henson is a Professor at the University of Guelph in Canada and Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK. He is recognized internationally for his expertise on food safety and quality. He has undertaken research in over 50 countries on the socio-economic impacts of food-borne hazards, the trade effects of food safety regulations and standards, the costs and benefits of improvements in food safety, and consumer demand for food safety and quality.  Professor Henson brings expertise as an applied economist who has worked extensively with policy-makers, private sector and consumer organizations, and collaborated with researchers across the social and natural sciences.

Mr John McTernan (Expert member)

Prior to joining PSB, John was a columnist and writer for The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times and The Times. An experienced political strategist, he was formerly Director of Political Operations for the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair; Director of Communications for Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard; and Chief of Staff to Scottish Labour Party Leader Jim Murphy. John has worked on numerous campaigns across Europe and in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, he was Thinker in Residence for the Government of South Australia and Head of Policy for the Scottish Government.

He has extensive experience in the public, private and NGO sectors. He was a councillor for the London Borough of Southwark where he was Chair of Education, and he was a director of the London Docklands Development Corporation.

John began his career as a professional librarian before becoming a political staffer. He holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sheffield.

Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford (Expert member)

Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford is a Research Fellow at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI), University of Sheffield. Hannah has undertaken research on food charity and food insecurity for funders including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). In 2013-14 she was lead author of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) funded ‘review of food aid’. In June 2014 Hannah was awarded first prize for Outstanding Early Career Impact at the ESRC’s Celebrating Impact awards. Hannah sits on Child Poverty Action Group’s (CPAG) policy advisory committee. Her book Hungry Britain was published in 2017.

Professor Dan Rigby (Expert member)

Daniel Rigby is a Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Manchester, and also holds a position at the University of Western Australia. He has been undertaking research in food and agriculture for over 20 years with his work increasingly focussed on food and food safety. Much of his research involves the design of surveys to elicit preferences and priorities, typically involving Discrete Choice Experiments or Best Worst Scaling techniques. Dan is the lead Social Scientist on the Enigma project on campylobacter funded by MRC/NERC/ESRC/BBSRC/FSA under the ESEI Programme. Prior to that he was part of a RELU project on reducing E.coli O157 risk in rural communities.