Evidence Week 2022

Evidence Week 2022

14th-17th November 2022, Westminster

With support from the John Innes Foundation, the John Innes Centre will be taking part in Sense About Science’s Evidence Week 2022.

We will be offering 1-2-1 briefings and Q&A sessions to MPs, peers and civil servants on the opportunities presented by gene editing, alongside researchers from the Earlham Institute, Quadram Institute Bioscience and The Sainsbury Laboratory.

Evidence Week began in 2018 and enables researchers, the public and parliamentarians to meet and explore evidence to better inform the development and scrutiny of policy. This will be the second time John Innes Centre scientists have participated in Evidence Week following last year’s successful sessions on combatting climate change.

This year we will be explaining the technology behind gene editing, exploring the opportunities presented through the development of Defra’s Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, and how delivery against the Bill could be best supported through proportionate and evidence-informed policy and process.

Three of our scientists will be hosting bookable online 1-1 sessions during the week, open to MPs, peers and civil servants between Monday 14th – Thursday 17th November.

PhD student Samuel Warner will be attending Westminster in person on Wednesday 16th to brief policy makers, and Professor Graham Moore will be attending a breakfast briefing with MPs alongside Professors Jonathan Jones (TSL) and Martin Warren (QIB) on the morning of Thursday 17th to conclude NRP participation.

Parliamentarians and those from local government can arrange to meet one of our scientists, using the following options (you’ll need a .gov email address to book these):

  • Book an in-person meetings with us in Westminster on Wednesday 16th November – Link TBC
  • Attend the Breakfast Briefing session on Thursday 17th with senior scientists from across the Norwich Research Park.
  • Virtual Briefings – if you are unable to attend in-person, book an online meeting with of our researchers between 10:00 Monday 14th to 12:30 Thursday 17th.

Members of the public can

  • Watch the Opening event public panel discussion via live stream
  • Submit your question now. Tell your MP that Evidence matters and ask how policies are decided on the issues that matter to you

John Innes Centre scientists offering 1-to-1 virtual briefings

Professor Wendy Harwood – Head of Crop Transformation Group

Wendy’s work involves using genome editing techniques in crops.

Genome editing offers a way to create small changes in crop DNA that lead to useful traits, such as increased resilience to a changing climate. Developing crops in this way is precise and can save many years over traditional breeding methods.

Availability for virtual sessions:

  • Monday 14th00-12.00
  • Thursday 17th00-12.00


Dr Rachel Wells – Senior Scientist 

Reducing chemical usage in agriculture decreases its carbon footprint and protects biodiversity. Gene-editing provides a route to reducing our reliance on pesticides through breeding more resistant crops.

Rachel is researching plant-pest interactions to support resistant crop breeding as a chemical-free solution.

Availability for virtual sessions:

  • Wed 16th am from 8.30-12.30
  • Thurs 17th am from 9.30-12.30


Dr Penny Hundleby – Senior Scientist 

Penny’s work involves using genetic technologies (Gene editing and GM) in crops, primarily as a research tool to better understand the role of plant genes.

Penny is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Honorary Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. She has a keen interest in following the commercialisation of biotech crops and the regulatory climate surrounding them.

Availability for virtual sessions:

  • Tues 15th Nov, 10:00-12:00


Scientists from The Sainsbury Laboratory will also be offering 1-2-1 session – visit their site to find out more.

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