Big Thinkers Debates | Credentials
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Meet the Big Thinkers Debates expert team

As the team behind The Big Thinkers Debates, we make sure that each debate will come alive for multiple audiences – whether or not they are in the room for the event.

Over the last four years we have brought together some of the world’s most progressive thinkers – including Nobel Laureates – to explore some of the biggest challenges of our time.

The team has produced award-winning events that have captured the imagination of expert audiences and the world’s media. Tackling topics as diverse as nurturing the innovators of the future, ageing populations, the DNA and data revolutions and the future of world’s health services, these debates have brought together thousands of experts. They have also generated high-profile coverage in traditional media and trended across social media, creating over 1.2 billion touchpoints with the public.

The success of these debates is rooted in the experience that the members of the team have gained over decades – in both traditional and digital media, through in-house and agency roles, and as independent consultants and journalists.

All these elements come together in the live events we organise and the wider communications campaigns we build around them. We set clear objectives and the results we produce for our clients and partners are both substantial and measurable.

Some of our past contributors


Professor Sir Andre Geim
Nobel Laureate


Dr Elizabeth Blackburn
Nobel Laureate


Lord Robert Winston


Professor Brian Cox


Dr Leroy Hood


Professor Jim Al-Khalili


Baroness Helena Kennedy QC


George Freeman MP


The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP


Professor Lionel Tarassenko

Management Team


Penny Lukats

A blend of analytical skills, creative flair and commercial acumen drives Penny’s success in creating multi-faceted campaigns that express client strategies, capture the attention of the media and target audiences – and sometimes also win awards. Over more than 20 years in public relations and marketing communications she has developed a number of specialities, among them a notable capacity for drawing compelling, illuminating stories from research and sales data.


Yehuda Shapiro

A strategist and a writer, Yehuda places an emphasis on the essential truths of products, services and commercial relationships. He analyses issues, defines audiences and then elicits responses by expressing messages directly and powerfully. With credentials as an international marketing director, consultant and journalist, he is strongly influenced by his training in languages (he has an Oxford degree in French and German) and his experience with major names in both traditional and digital media.


Roland Pease

Roland is an award-winning science journalist. He spent six years on the prestigious News and Views team of Nature, and 19 years at the BBC Radio Science Unit, producing, presenting and reporting on shows from Science in Action to Frontiers. Between 2005 and 2013 he was a senior member of the Science team at the BBC and BBC World Service, and he now combines writing and broadcasting opportunities with editorial strategy.