Stian is Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). He joined in June 2023.

Before this, he served as Chief Executive of the Royal Statistical Society, as Executive Director of Policy and Research at Nesta, as adviser to three UK science ministers and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.Stian’s research interests include the economics and politics of innovation, research and technology. He is a regular commentator on science and innovation policy, and co-author of Restarting the Future: How to Fix the Intangible Economy and Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy