Throughout his career David Gee has worked at the interface of science and policy-making in the fields of occupational health and the environment, both in the UK with trade unions and NGOs, and as an international civil servant.
Graduating in economics and politics from York University in 1968, he worked for the AUEW and then the Trades Union Congress where he was responsible for developing and rolling out the national programme of Safety Reps training. He moved on to a new post as National Health and Safety Officer at the GMB union (1978-88), then was appointed Director of Friends of the Earth UK (1989-91).
Between 1995-2012 he worked on Information Strategy and then as Senior Adviser on Science, Policy and Emerging Issues at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen. Among other long term projects on topics such as eco-tax reform and eco-efficiency; scientific uncertainty; children’s risks from environmental hazards; evaluating evidence of potential harm; the precautionary principle; regulatory reform, particularly on hazardous substances (eg COSHH and REACH); and parliamentary scrutiny, David initiated and co-edited both volumes of the influential “Late lessons from early warnings” reports (EEA,2001,2013), some of whose chapters he also authored. These reports use case studies from over 80 expert authors on 34 of some of the most prominent environmental and health issues of the last 100 years to synthesise insights on science, precaution and innovation. They are used widely both in academic and policy-making contexts.
He is now Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Environment, Health, and Societies, Brunel University, London. Some of his current projects include:
- The precautionary principle and innovation (London and Paris workshops, June, 2015);
- the 50th anniversary celebration of “Environment and Disease: Association or Causation?”, the 1965 paper by Bradford Hill (Oct 13/14th 2016 at the Royal Society of Medicine, London); and
- sharing the insights from the “Late Lessons” reports, as a keynote speaker or conference contributor.
He is married with four daughters and lives in London.