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.