Oxford Martin School
PurposeHigher Education and Research
HeadquartersBroad Street, Oxford, England
Professor Sir Charles Godfray
Parent organization
University of Oxford

The Oxford Martin School is a research and policy unit based in the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. It was founded in June 2005 as the James Martin 21st Century School and is located in the original building of the Indian Institute.[1] It is named after its benefactor, James Martin, author of the books The Wired Society and The Meaning of the 21st Century.[2] Its Director is Charles Godfray, who took up the post in February 2018.[3]

'Finding solutions to the world's most urgent problems' is the stated mission of the Oxford Martin School.[4]


Author James Martin founded the Oxford Martin School in 2005 with the largest benefaction to the University of Oxford in its more than 900-year history.[5] Founding director of the School was Ian Goldin who held the post from September 2006 to September 2016.[6]

The School and the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Oxford founded the Future of Humanity Institute in 2005.[citation needed] In 2010, the School announced the successful outcome of a $100 million matched funding scheme[7] that saw the number of research programmes in the School more than double.[citation needed]


The Oxford Martin School is housed in the former Indian Institute building on Broad Street, Oxford.
The Oxford Martin School is housed in the former Indian Institute building on Broad Street, Oxford.

The School invests in research tackling "the most pressing global challenges and opportunities of the 21st century".[8] It takes a multi-disciplinary approach to issues such as climate change, migration, and the future of humanity.[9]

In September 2012, the School launched the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, an interdisciplinary group looking at global issues such as cybersecurity, climate change, and political transparency. The Commission, chaired by Pascal Lamy, reported in 2013, making fifteen proposals on how to respond to these trends. These included some expansions of existing projects and some new proposals.[10][11]

A report published in 2013 looked at the effect of new technologies on the structure of the labour market, with repetitive jobs being replaced by automation. It predicted that over two decades, 45 percent of all jobs in the United States were at risk of replacement.[12][13] A report published in early 2016, "Industrial Renewal in the 21st Century: Evidence from US cities", looked at how technology companies such as Facebook and Uber affect the wider economy of the United States. It showed that their effect on job creation is small and that they increase disparities in wealth.[14][15]

Two Oxford Martin School research directors were listed among Prospect Magazine's World's Top Thinkers: philosopher Nick Bostrom was listed 15th in 2014 and global development researcher Max Roser was listed 2nd in 2019.[16][17]

The School is home to the 'Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade' which aims to change demand for illegal wildlife products.[18][19]

In 2021, research from Marco Springmann, a senior researcher at the programme on the Future of Food, was published in The Lancet which used data from the World Bank International Comparison Programme to assess the cost of dietary patterns in 150 countries and found a vegan dietary pattern to be the most affordable.[20][21][22] United States journalist Avery Yale Kamila said "the Oxford University study adds high-quality, much-needed data to policy discussions about food costs."[23] Food Navigator journalist Oliver Morrison said "The findings fly in the face of consumer surveys consistently suggesting that most consumers care about sustainability but say they are often unable or unwilling to pay more for 'greener' food and beverage alternatives."[24]

Our World in Data

The flagship publication for the School's research is Our World in Data, which is published jointly with the Global Change Data Lab.[25][26] The publication's mission – 'Research and data to make progress against the world's largest problems'[26] – is closely aligned with the School's mission. The publication's research team is based at the School.[27] Our World in Data is the largest scientific open-access publication based at a university worldwide and widely used in policy institutions.[28][29]


  1. ^ Ford, Liz (1 June 2005). "Oxford institute to seek solutions to world's problems". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "Interview: Agent for change". New Scientist. 6 September 2006.
  3. ^ "Oxford Martin School appoints new Director". Oxford Martin School. 16 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Oxford Martin School | University of Oxford". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Founder". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Professor Ian Goldin | People". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  7. ^ $100 million raised for ground-breaking research, Oxford Martin School, 2010.
  8. ^ "About us". Oxford Martin School. 2016.
  9. ^ "Research programmes". Oxford Martin School. 2016.
  10. ^ Liat, Clark (16 October 2013). "Future Generations Report: we need global shared values to secure our future (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  11. ^ Bland, Jessica (16 October 2013). "Betting on the future: William Hill or the UN?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  12. ^ Hope Rutkin, Aviva (12 September 2013). "Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  13. ^ Tett, Gillian (19 January 2016). "Rise of the robots seen boosting the dollar". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  14. ^ "What's the point of the tech industry?". TechRadar. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  15. ^ Pofeldt, Elanie (5 December 2015). "Study: Tech Firms Create Wealth, Not Jobs". Forbes. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Professor Nick Bostrom | University of Oxford". www.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Prospect world's top thinkers, 2019: the top ten".
  18. ^ "About | Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade | Programmes". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Day of recognition for world's most traded wild mammal". Oxford Martin School. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  20. ^ Oxford, Marco Springmann, University of (14 November 2021). "Vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets could actually save you money". WalesOnline. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Want to save money? Go vegan, say Oxford University researchers". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Sustainable eating is cheaper as well as healthier, reveals new study". The Independent. 10 November 2021. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  23. ^ Kamila, Avery Yale (9 January 2022). "Vegan Kitchen: Save money, save your health, save the world, eat vegan!". Press Herald. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  24. ^ foodnavigator.com. "Sustainable diets 'a third cheaper than typical foods' claims research". foodnavigator.com. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  25. ^ Ritchie, Hannah (4 February 2019). "Which countries eat the most meat?". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Our World in Data: About". Our World in Data. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  27. ^ "About | Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development | Programmes". Oxford Martin School. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  28. ^ Infogram (27 July 2016). "Our World in Data: Visualizations with a Conscience". Medium. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  29. ^ "The U.N. Set 17 Goals To Make The World A Better Place. How's It Doing?". NPR.org. Retrieved 26 March 2019.

Coordinates: 51°45′18″N 1°15′15″W / 51.7549°N 1.2542°W / 51.7549; -1.2542