Emma Woods
Emma Woods
Director of Policy
Natural History Museum

Emma recently joined the Natural History Museum to set up a new policy unit. Drawing on the Museum’s scientific expertise and public outreach, she is working to extend its sphere of influence and engage policymakers in protecting the natural world and restoring it to health.

Before joining the Museum, Emma was Head of Policy at the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, where she worked with some of the world's leading scientists to provide accessible and timely advice to policymakers. She led the Society’s work on the wellbeing of people and planet, including major programmes on post-Brexit land use, the future of genetic technologies, and the global climate and biodiversity crises. Her work has also explored the nature of science in public life, leading to publications on the ‘post-truth’ phenomenon and the value of evidence synthesis.

Emma's interest in the relationship between people and planet has taken her all over the world. She has previously worked for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, and WWF Madagascar. She also has teaching experience in the UK and China, and is a Fellow of the Cambridge University Centre for Science and Policy, Westminster Abbey Institute and British-American Project. She holds degrees from Oxford University in Biological Sciences and in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management.