Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Professor Marc Stears appointed first Director of the UCL Policy Lab

1 December 2021

UCL is excited to announce the appointment of Professor Marc Stears, currently the Director of the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney, as the inaugural Director of the UCL Policy Lab, which launches in May 2022.

Marc Stears

The Policy Lab is an ambitious new initiative from UCL, located in its Departments of Economics and Political Science. 

The Lab will bring UCL’s world-leading economists and political scientists into dialogue with policymakers, business leaders, philanthropists, community groups and NGOs to shape public debate, as well as to design and test ambitious new policy solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Speaking of his appointment, Professor Stears said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the UCL Policy Lab. Ever since it was founded, UCL has led the world in demonstrating how universities can serve the public good. That mission has never been more important than now and directing the UCL Policy Lab provides an extraordinarily exciting opportunity to contribute to it.”

The Lab will launch at a critical time for public policy in the UK and around the world, with social, economic and health inequalities rising, climate change intensifying, and political debate polarizing. The Lab aims to show how rigorous data-led research, using the most advanced computational methods, can inform ambitious and socially engaged policy action to meet the many challenges we face today. 

Prof Stears joins UCL from the University of Sydney, where he was Director of the Sydney Policy Lab. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation and Professor of Political Theory at Oxford University. His latest book Out of the Ordinary: How Everyday Life Inspired a Nation and How it can Again, was published by Harvard University Press this year. 

Professor Stears will be joining the Lab in the new year as it prepares for its launch in May 2022. It is based in a beautifully renovated building - 36-38 Gordon Square - at the heart of UCL’s Bloomsbury campus. UCL Policy Lab will be an exciting and innovative new space, where people will come together to help form new inclusive policy solutions to the big challenges society faces, bridging academia, policy-making and the community at large.   

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