Below is a list of the current members of the British Science Association's Council. Unless otherwise stated, the below people are all trustees of the BSA.

Find out more about the role of Council.


Hilary Newiss

Hilary sits on the boards of the Natural History Museum and the Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult and she was also previously Chair of National Voices, a charity that works to strengthen the voices of patients – especially from underrepresented groups – in healthcare. Through her career she has been on the boards for the Human Genetics Commission, Roslin Institute and the Francis Crick Institute. By training, Hilary is a lawyer specialising in intellectual property.


Neil Greenwood

Neil retired in August 2023 after just over 25 years as Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services at the Natural History Museum, a major public visitor attraction and world leading academic and research organisation, which aims to promote the public understanding of science, seeks to engage and involve the widest possible audience, and working in partnership, use science as a powerful basis for the solutions and actions we need to overcome global challenges and develop a sustainable future.

Neil also serves as a Co-opted Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as a member of the Finance and Resources Committee of the University of Roehampton, and as a trustee and honorary treasurer of the London Playing Fields Foundation.

Vice-President for Engagement

Matt Howard

Matt Howard

Matt Howard is Chief Strategy Officer for the Faraday Institution, the UK's flagship energy storage research organisation, where he is responsible for working with the CEO and the Executive Team to drive the organisation’s overall strategic direction. 

He is a thirty-year veteran in communications and engagement, specialising in research communications for some of the world’s leading universities and scientific institutions, including the University of Chicago, University of Michigan and Columbia University among others.

For a decade, he served as the Chief Communications Officer and director of the communications, education and public affairs division for the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, where he was responsible for communicating the distinctive scientific culture and the ground-breaking impacts of one of the largest science and engineering research laboratories in the US. 

Vice-President for Education

Professor Heather King

Heather is Professor of Science Education at King’s College London whose work seeks to support the design of socially and environmentally just learning experiences in STEM. Her work addresses youth engagement and educator practice in schools, universities, museums, and out-of-school contexts in the UK and internationally.  She also runs studies and teaches courses on STEM Making and is eager to learn more about ways to facilitate Making in ways that enable more people to participate.

Heather has a background in museum education and has previously worked for international development charities including Oxfam and ActionAid.

Vice-President for Policy, Partnerships & Impact

Sarah Chaytor

Sarah Chaytor is the Director of Strategy & Policy for UCL Research, Innovation & Global Engagement and a co-investigator at Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) and the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO).

Sarah is also the co-Chair of UPEN, the Universities Policy Engagement Network. Sarah’s role at UCL includes overseeing the UCL Public Policy programme and building UCL’s capacity to engage with public policy; leading research policy and stakeholder engagement work; and advising the Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement). Prior to joining UCL, Sarah held policy roles with the Russell Group, Wellcome and Universities UK and as a parliamentary researcher and for a think tank.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Lead Trustee

Kevin Coutinho

Kevin Coutinho is currently Pro-Director, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and brings extensive experience of both EDI programme implementation principles and practice.

Kevin is also an experienced board member as Chair of Trustees at the Windsor Fellowship. In addition to his subject matter knowledge, Kevin is well networked in the science community with roles at the Linnean Society of London and Faraday Institution.

Council members

Dr Rubina Ahmed

Dr Rubina Ahmed is the Associate Director for Systems Engagement at the Stroke Association where she is responsible for a wide portfolio of activities, including research funding, policy, public affairs and campaigns, as well as work on health inequalities, prevention and international engagement. She is a member of the NHS England Stroke Delivery Programme Board and a Board Member of the Stroke Alliance for Europe.

Rubina holds a PhD in Immunology and an MSc in Management and has a background in scientific research funding, strategy and management. She has worked in both the public and charity sector for a number of years, including with the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, working across a range of areas from fundamental and translational research through to clinical trials regulation and delivery.

Alongside her work at the Stroke Association and with the BSA, she is also a Trustee for Pro Bono Economics – a charity that works with third sector organisations to demonstrate the economic value of their work.

Dr Joe de Sousa

Joe has an extensive track record in scientific and leadership roles across pharmaceutical R&D and at the interface of industry, academia & the public sector including pre-clinical research, clinical development and regulatory approval across a wide range of disease areas.

Joe leads Melhor Consulting and is a Council Member at the EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council), a Strategic Advisor at Bionow, a member of the BioCity Expert Network and an Innovate UK Assessor. He has previously been a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network and the EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Strategy Team.

Joe completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford and is a Chartered Chemist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at University of Manchester.

Phil Smith

Phil Smith’s role is Executive Director of Partnerships at Sport England and he was formerly Head of Public Affairs at the Football Association. With broad board and governance experience, Phil brings insight from seeking to engage those who have not felt that ‘sport is for them’. Phil also brings practical knowledge of community grant-making through his role at Sport England.

The following people sit on Council but are not trustees:

President: Professor Dame Jane Francis

Past President: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon