Newton’s Heirs

The Programme

The Newton’s Heirs Programme has been developed with and run for scientists and policy makers. It offers opportunities to learn about science, the scientific method  and policy processes, and it promotes the exchange of views between scientists and policy makers through a series of workshops.

For information on current workshops look under “Latest News”, to the right of this page.

The Newton’s Heirs Programme has two strands –


The objective of the programme is to create an enhanced appreciation of the policy process among scientists, and to encourage them to become involved by providing scientific advice and evidence for policy makers.  It also aims to increase the opportunities for policy makers to identify, understand, evaluate and use science in policy making.

Prof Michael Elves chairing a workshop


The aim is to deliver three main outcomes:

To provide transferable communication skills for scientists, and increase their awareness of the wider relevance of their research to society, which in turn might lead to a greater retention of scientists in the workforce.

To enhance the practical skills of policy makers in interpreting scientific evidence.

To encourage the improved use of science in policymaking. This will ultimately bring great benefits to the public.

In addition to our ‘Introduction to Science Policy’ Workshops Newton’s Apple has run a series of successful workshops for other organisations;

Women in Science (WISE) Conference in Oxford 2007 – Policy and Networking Conference. Newton’s Apple organised a Newton’s Heirs Workshop for 25 young women in science, engineering and technology.

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Crucible in 2007. Newton’s Apple facilitated a Parliamentary Question Time Session for the 30 participants of the scheme, giving scientists an opportunity to talk directly to Parliamentarians. The event highlighted the importance of engaging stakeholders and helping to build firm interdisciplinary relationships.

NESTA Crucible 2008. Newton’s Apple was involved with NESTA Crucible 2008, where we provided the Newton’s Heirs Workshop to postdoctoral researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.

BA Science Communication Conference 2008 Engaging with Policy for the Purpose of Explaining Science’. Newton’s Apple enabled science communicators to question and debate with panellists from across the science policy spectrum.  Topics under debate included how Parliament balances public opinion with scientific evidence in current debates, such as that on hybrid embryos.

BA Festival of Science 2008

Newton’s Apple, in partnership with the Food Protection Agency, ran a session entitled ‘What are you being served?’  This explored how the science underpinning policy and advice arrives on your plate with a panel of food experts.