Gemma Harper is Chief Social Scientist and Deputy Director for Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (Aphea) in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). She is responsible for ensuring social science – which aims to put people at the heart of policy making – is high quality and has impact on strategy, policy and delivery. Gemma is also responsible for ensuring interdisciplinary evidence helps protect and enhance the contributions animal and plant health make to society. Gemma studied social psychology at London School of Economics and Political Science, and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, The University of Reading. She is a member of the Government Social Research Leadership Board, the Cross Government Evaluation Group, the Social Research Association Strategy Group, the Public Policy Committee of the British Academy, and is currently a Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Science and Policy.