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Rothamsted Research

Sciencewise co-funded project 2013


Rothamsted Research is an agricultural research institute that has been in existence for 170 years. During this time it has established an international reputation for producing high quality scientific research that has shaped modern agricultural practice. It continues to provide scientific innovations and advice to the farming community and has established itself as a respected authority, largely due to its independent status and the fact it is predominantly publically funded.

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Impacts & Value

•  Rothamsted dialogue informs new approach to GM trials - October 2015

•  The main achievement of the dialogue to date has been the dialogue’s reinforcement that Rothamsted is working in a way that is commensurate with the expectations and interests of the public. This will potentially add weight to any negotiations with industry, the media or others as to what has been learnt from the public dialogue about the principles within which they feel that Rothamsted should engage with industry in future.

•  The medium - long term impact of the dialogue is closely linked to the KEC strategy that will be developed and can only be assessed at a later stage, although indications are that the dialogue results will inform that strategy.

•  One other immediate impact is that the results of the public dialogue were seen to add weight to any negotiations Rothamsted has in future with industry, the media and others.

Project Status

Case study published - March 2015

Evaluation report published - February 2015

Dialogue and evaluation contractors appointed (November 2013)


Policy Maker View

“Rothamsted staff’s participation in the dialogue events and the OG means that the dialogue output is likely to be more useful than if they hadn’t been involved.”
OG member
“I was surprised that the public were as open-minded and supportive of Rothamsted – they saw the value and quality of Rothamsted.”
Rothamsted staff member

What the public said

“It was an eye opener into the work that Rothamsted conduct and the decisions that are critical to their future.”
Public participant, Harpenden

Delivered By

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. BBSRC is co-funding and commissioning the public dialogue.

Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted is the longest running agricultural research station in the world (running for nearly 170 years) and is also a co-funder of the project. Rothamsted is co-funding and managing the public dialogue.

OPM Group
Dialogue Delivery. OPM Group is an independent public interest company that helps public services across all sectors to improve outcomes, performance and standards.

Evaluation Contractor. 3KQ is a company of independent facilitators and evaluators.