skip to primary navigation skip to content

Noam Obermeister MSc

PhD Candidate

Noam’s main areas of interest are in environmental and climate policy, science-policy interfacing, and science communication.

Aside from academia, Noam has experience in serious game design, professional facilitation, strategic consultancy, business intelligence, and editorial work. He holds a BA in International Politics from King’s College London and an MSc in Environment, Politics, and Society from UCL. His PhD was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).



Relevant work experience:

  • January 2022 – Present: Science-Policy Expert & Facilitator, Centre for Systems Solutions (CRS)
  • September 2020 – December 2020: Consultant: Strategy Research Analyst, UNDP Green Commodities Programme (GCP).
  • October 2017 – February 2018: Intern – Technical Support Unity (TSU) for Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
  • April – July 2016: Researcher – Greater Mekong, Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS).

For more information please visit my LinkedIn page.


  • MSc in Environment, Politics and Society with Distinction, University College London.
  • BA in International Politics with First Class Honours, King’s College London.

External websites: @NObermeister, LinkedIn, ResearchGate,, ORCID

Thesis abstract

Through their engagements with science-policy, academics often have to revisit some of their enduring assumptions and expectations about the world of policymaking. They have to learn to become (effective) science advisers in diverse contexts. No instruction manuals or guidelines have quite prepared them for their experiences sitting on scientific advisory committees or meeting with civil servants. Many scholars have spoken about the importance of learning in the interactions between scientists and policymakers, but there has been little empirical investigation putting science advisers’ learning under the microscope. How and what do they learn? How do the various advisory settings they inhabit shape their learning? And how (if at all) is their learning differentiated by levels of experience and other factors such as disciplinary training? These are some of the questions I address in this thesis. Based on in-depth interviews with experienced advisers and early-career researchers, and ethnographic observations of advisory meetings, I analyse the different moving parts in advisers’ learning journeys and the extent to which their learning is situated and transformative. I argue that there are three levels at which such an analysis can be organised: the macro (professional cultures), micro (individual profiles), and meso (organisational cultures). I discuss them in that order. Following a grounded theory approach, I devise a model of advisers’ learning based on the idea of the cultural encounter and two models of science advice (collective intelligence and networked intelligence) with repercussions on learning. I also introduce and reflect on methodological innovations, including an experimental pilot of longitudinal diaries and a stylised simulation of a scientific advisory committee. In the final chapter, I discuss the promise of these methods and present the practical implications of my findings for less experienced advisers, early-career researchers, educators, science-policy researchers, and knowledge brokers.


Doctoral thesis

Peer-reviewed publications

  • Borie, M., Mahony, M., Obermeister, N., & Hulme, M. (2021). Knowing like a global expert organization: Comparative insights from the IPCC and IPBES. Global Environmental Change, 68, 102261.
  • Obermeister, N. (2020). Tapping into science advisers’ learning. Palgrave Communications, 6, 74.
  • Borie, M., Gustafsson, K. M., Obermeister, N., Turnhout, E., & Bridgewater, P. (2020). Institutionalising reflexivity? Transformative learning and the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Environmental Science & Policy, 110, 71–76.
  • Honeybun-Arnolda, E., & Obermeister, N. (2019). A Climate for Change: Millennials, Science and the Humanities. Environmental Communication, 13(1), 1–8. doi:10.1080/17524032.2018.1500927
  • Obermeister, N. (2019). Local knowledge, global ambitions: IPBES and the advent of multi-scale models and scenarios. Sustainability Science, 14(3), 843–856. doi: 10.1007/s11625-018-0616-8
  • Hulme, M., Obermeister, N., Randalls, S., & Borie, M. (2018). Framing the challenge of climate change in Nature and Science editorials. Nature Climate Change, 8(6), 515–521. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0174-1
  • Obermeister, N. (2017). From dichotomy to duality: Addressing interdisciplinary epistemological barriers to inclusive knowledge governance in global environmental assessments. Environmental Science & Policy, 68, 80–86. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2016.11.010

Other publications


  • Seminar Leader – MPhil in Anthropocene Studies
  • Supervisions – Part II: Paper 5 Environmental Knowledges & the Politics of Expertise (EKPE).

External activities

  • Co-convenor – Geographies of Knowledge research group, University of Cambridge (2018-2019).
  • Member – Local Knowledges Collaboratory.
  • Facilitation and Theming – IPBES Web Conference on Land Degradation and Restoration Knowledge Gaps and Needs.
  • Observer – 7th Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
  • Participant – 3-day workshop organised by the UFZ Science-Policy Expert Group, in Leipzig: Five years of IPBES – reflecting the achievements and challenges and identifying needs for its review towards a 2nd work programme.
  • Participant – 2-day (online) workshop on IPBES and transformative change organised by UFZ and iDiv.
  • Acted as Reviewer for: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Science & Policy, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, and WIREs Climate Change.