I am a professor of physics in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge working on soft matter and biological physics. I am also Master of Churchill College, Cambridge. I have an active interest in issues around women in science within the university (WiSETI ), was their first Gender Equality Champion (2010-14) and also more generally beyond the University. I also have a keen 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 and 2012-15 and chaired their Education Committee from 2010-14).  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 have previously been a Member of the University of Cambridge’s Council (2009-14), Trustee of the Science Museum Group (2011-16) and am a continuing member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council since 2012. I have been chairing the Scientific Advisory Council of the Department of Culture, Media and Sports since 2015.

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

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)