Professor James Goodwin

MSc Human Biology, Loughborough University
PhD Medical Science (Physiology), University of Exeter Medical School

  • Director of Science and Research Impact, Brain Health Network, London, UK

Professor James Goodwin is the Director of Science and Research Impact at the Brain Health Network in London.

Dr Goodwin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Keele University, UK. After graduation he became a short service commissioned officer in the British Army, then afterwards spent 20 years in the Army Reserve. He was a member of the Army Reserve international shooting team and won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at national (UK) competitions. He is a graduate of Winterbourne Gunner, the Army's Defence NBC School, the School of Infantry PCBC, and the Company Commanders and Staff Course. On leaving the regular Army, he studied for a master’s in Human Biology at Loughborough and then for a PhD in Medical Science (Physiology) in Professor Sir John Tooke’s department at the University of Exeter Medical School. His area of research was the physiological effects of extreme temperatures, ageing and health. He was appointed Head of Research at the Help the Aged in 2002, Director of Research at Age UK in 2009 and then Chief Scientist until September 2018. In 2015 on the request of Lord Filkin, he was seconded to the Centre for Better Ageing.

Dr Goodwin has been a member of numerous expert bodies, including a UK Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research, the UN Research Agenda for Ageing panel, a UN Digital Health Group, a WHO Advisory Group, the EC funded FUTURAGE project and in 2022 was a jury member for the French Government ANR Research Department. He presented evidence to the House of Lords Inquiry on the Scientific Aspects of Ageing (Select Committee on Science and Technology) in 2005 and 2009, and to a US Congressional hearing in 2006. In March 2014 Dr Goodwin was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) for his contribution to the impact of research on important social issues affecting older people.

A co-investigator (impact and ageing and health) for the Horizon 2020 funded HEATSHIELD PROJECT, involving 11 EU nations and 20 organisations, university and climate sector companies.

Dr Goodwin is an expert in science communication and in research impact.

In 2010 he was appointed by HEFCE to develop how to assess research impact in the first pilot Research Excellence Framework. The pilot involved 3 UoAs - medicine, earth science and social policy/social work. Subsequently the impact assessment method was used to assess the research impact of all UK universities in 2014 and 2021. In the 2014 REF he was an impact assessor in UoA 4 (Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience) and for the 2021 REF, he was the consultant adviser to 8 universities (Aston, Coventry, Essex, Exeter, King's College London, Lancaster, and Loughborough).

In 2013 he was invited by the UK Government to attend the G8 Dementia Summit and subsequently (2015) he became a founding member of the Global Council on Brain Health, Washington DC. The mission of the Global Council is to provide trustworthy and reliable evidence based messages for ordinary people on how to look after their brain health. He is the co-author of 10 workshop papers.

In 2019 he was invited by Penguin Random House to write a book on brain health. 'Supercharge Your Brain' was published by Penguin in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and by Pegasus Books in New York. Book rights have been sold in Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Korean; in Russian, Polish and Bulgarian.

In 2022 he was appointed a Jury Member (Impact) by the French National Research Agency (ANR - Agence nationale de la recherche) for their research call on ageing.

James speaks widely in the UK and abroad. He has spoken at the UN, at the WHO, for numerous corporate clients including Unilever, Merck, Samsung and Sanofi Pasteur, the IoD Monaco and at universities in Europe and North America. From 2021 to 2023, he has had over 100 interviews, articles, podcasts and commentaries including the BBC, Sky, GB News, UK Health Radio, National Public Radio (USA), the Times, the Telegraph, The i and Vogue, Vanity Fair, Country and Town House, Top Santé and the New Scientist.

He is represented by Kruger Cowne of London, the UK’s leading speaker bureau.


Holds a Honorary Chair in Medicine at the University of Exeter Medical School

Is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, London