I am a professor of physics in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge working on soft matter and biological physics. I have an active interest in issues around women in science within the university (WiSETI ) and outside (Athena Forum) and equality and diversity more generally; and a growing interest in education and science policy.  I hold a variety of positions on committees etc, but this blog is written in a purely personal capacity.

My first degree and my PhD are both in Physics from Cambridge University. After I spent 4 years at Cornell University in the USA I returned to Cambridge where I have been ever since. I became a professor in 1998 and was elected to the Royal Society in 1999 (I served on their Council 2004-6).  I was the 2009 Laureate for Europe of the L’Oreal/UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, and won the Faraday Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2010. I was appointed a DBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

I am currently the University of Cambridge’s Gender Equality Champion, and chair the Royal Society’s Education Committee as well as sit on their Council.  I was the founding chair of the Institute of Physics Biological Physics Group (2006-10) and am Project Director of the IOP’s Teaching Biological Physics project.  I am a Trustee of the National Museum of Science and Industry and a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

I am married to Matthew, a mathematician, and have two adult children.

One Response to About

  1. Simona Valleggi says:

    Dear Prof Donald
    I was at the post-doc away day yesterday and I’d just like to thank you for your talk.
    My story is quite complicated and I won’t bother you with that 🙂 !
    I try to be strong and to face life, but sometimes it’s not easy …

    Anyway, I’m quite sure that I’ll think again about your “life example” in my life…
    Thanks for sharing it with me (us)