Dr Lucinda Spokes

Public Engagement and Festival Manager (Science)

Dr Lucinda Spokes is responsible for the coordination, delivery and evaluation of the annual University of Cambridge Science Festival which takes place in March each year. She works with researchers across the Schools of Physical Sciences, Technology, Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine to plan their public engagement projects and involvement in the Cambridge Science Festival. She is also jointly-responsible for managing and delivering the Rising Stars training programme in Public Engagement and Cambridge Shorts project for early career researchers. 

Lucinda studied Chemistry at the University of Birmingham and moved to the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia for her PhD. Following this, Lucinda spent 14 years as a research scientist studying the impact of human activity on the oceans. She moved into science outreach as part of an EU funded education project producing a web-based climate encyclopaedia for schools and the general public.  Prior to her current position, Lucinda worked for STEM Team East, the STEMNET contract holder for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, running STEM activities in schools and providing advice on STEM enrichment opportunities to teachers.


  • BSc Hons Chemistry, University of Birmingham
  • PhD Environmental Chemistry, University of East Anglia


Sue Long

Public Engagement and Festivals Officer (Communities)

Sue Long joined the Public Engagement team in 2008 to deliver the schools and community programmes for the 800th Anniversary celebrations.  As the Festivals and Outreach Officer, Sue is responsible for coordinating the Open Cambridge weekend and she also manages the schools and community outreach programme for both the Science Festival and the Festival of Ideas.

Prior to working for the Public Engagement team, Sue worked for Lucy Cavendish College as the Student Outreach Officer, and before that she was part of the Widening Participation team at the Cambridge Admissions Office. 


  • BA Hons History, University of Cambridge


Ariel Retik

Public Engagement and Festival Manager (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences)

Ariel is responsible for the co-ordination of the annual Festival of Ideas – curating, delivering and evaluating a series of public engagement projects in the arts, humanities and social sciences. He liaises with researchers and academics across the School of Arts and Humanities and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in planning their Public Engagement projects and involvement in the Festival of Ideas. He is also responsible for managing and delivering the Rising Stars training programme in Public Engagement and Cambridge Shorts project for early career researchers.

Ariel previously worked as an assistant on both the Cambridge Science Festival and the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, helping with all aspects of the Festivals: programming, marketing and publicity, planning, logistics, event delivery and management. Ariel joined the Public Engagement Team from the Wellcome Trust, where he worked for as a Public Engagement Adviser, helping to fund, monitor and evaluate projects that engage the public with biomedical science in the UK and in low- and middle-income countries. He has Previously worked as in academic publishing at Elsevier.


  • BSc Hons Biology, University College London
  • MSc Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, Imperial College London


Dr Anita Krishnamurthi

Special Advisor

Anita Krishnamurthi

Dr Anita Krishnamurthi joined the team in September 2017 and is taking the lead to document and analyse the wide range of public engagement efforts across the university.  Her aim is to help identify synergies and gaps with the goal of improving collaboration and discovering unmet needs to engage schools and the public. 

Anita comes to this role from the United States, where she was most recently Vice President for STEM Policy at the Afterschool Alliance in Washington, DC.  In this role, she launched the organization’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiative and led the national strategy to promote and support STEM education in afterschool programs through a combination of policy, advocacy, research and partnerships.  Previously, Anita led a wide range of STEM education initiatives at the National Academy of Sciences, NASA Headquarters and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  An astronomer by training, Anita received her PhD from The Ohio State University and conducted her postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado in Boulder.


  • BSc Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, India
  • PhD Astronomy, The Ohio State University, USA


Mandy Garner

Communications Officer

Mandy's role is as Communications Officer. She splits her time between the Public Engagement and Communications team, working for the Gates Cambridge Trust for the Communications team and on the Festival of Ideas and the Cambridge Series at the Hay Festival for the Public Engagement team. She organises the Cambridge Series and some of the debates at the Festival of Ideas and promotes both events.

Mandy joined the University of Cambridge from Times Higher Education where she was features editor. She has over 20 years' experience in journalism, having worked for the writers' organisation PEN as a researcher on threats to freedom of expression, for local newspapers, Community Care magazine and the BBC where she was a senior broadcast journalist specialising in social affairs. She was deputy editor of Learnfree, the Times Education Supplement's online portal for parents, before moving to the THE. She has freelanced for a range of publications, including The Guardian and the ESRC. She is also editor of Workingmums.co.uk.


  • BA Jt Hons French and Spanish, University of Cambridge
  • MSc International Relations, London School of Economics
  • Diploma Newspaper Journalism, London City University