Harriet Wallace

Elected Trustee – 2022

A picture of Harriet Wallace, a white woman wearing glasses and a purple scarf

Harriet Wallace is a scientist by training and a civil servant by profession. She has had a lifelong interest in how we can make the most of science’s potential: for inspiring, engaging and bringing joy and enlightenment to children and adults alike; for understanding the world better; for solving real-world problems; and to inform and influence both public policy and human behaviours. 

She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, focusing on biology, history and philosophy of science, and has a Masters in History of Science from Harvard where she was a Kennedy scholar.

She is currently the Director of International Research and Innovation at BEIS - leading on the government’s science and innovation relationship with the rest of Europe and the world, as well as sponsoring several Public Sector Research Establishments including the National Physical Laboratory and the Met Office. Her previous roles have included leading development of the government’s Clean Air Strategy at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural affairs, a range of international and domestic roles at HM Treasury, working at Unilever on social and environmental responsibility and their corporate brand, and a period in the Strategy team at the Department of Health where amongst other things she worked on a review of the role of the state in public health.

What the Ri means to me

The Royal Institution is a place I love – I enjoyed the Christmas Lectures as a child, and in recent years have spent many happy hours there with my son who is a keen devotee of the RI children’s programme, museum and elements game. It was at the RI that we discovered the Kitchen Science Cookbook with recipes for things like colour changing noodles – making science easy and accessible for children to do at home.

This page was last updated on the 20 June 2022.