Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine, King's College, London
Claire Marris is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine at King’s College London, and in the EPSRC-funded Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation which is a joint initiative between Imperial College London and King’s College London. She has been conducting social science research on biosciences and biotechnology, in particular genetically modified crops and synthetic biology, for over 15 years. Her most influential work has focused on the different ways in which various members of the public, scientists, and risk regulators understand and think about risk and uncertainty, and how this has led to unfortunate misunderstandings and controversies. Based on that research, she believes that it is important for a wide range of lay groups with different perspectives to get involved in decisions relating to research and innovation for emerging biotechnologies and has been involved in organising and analysing initiatives that aim to find the best ways to devise such public participation.
She has advised government departments and scientific advisory bodies in the UK, France and at the European Commission on policies related to genetically modified organisms and to public participation. Most recently, she was a member of the UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap Coordination Group convened by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is a member of the Observatoire de la Biologie de Synthèse convened by the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research. She obtained a PhD in plant molecular biology at Rothamsted Research Station in 1990 and a Masters in Science Policy at Sussex University in 1992.