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.