Author Archives: Athene Donald

Has the World Changed (Enough)?

“The reported incidents of racism and misogyny are extremely alarming” according to Gareth Cook, fire brigade’s union regional organiser for London about the recent report into the London Fire Brigade. “Women have been “systematically failed” by the criminal justice system”, … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in confidence, harassment, Lindemann Trust, MIT, Women in science | Leave a comment

Refereeing and Bullies

We’ve heard a lot about bullying at the heart of government in recent days. One defence of the behaviour of the former Chief Whip is that it used to be worse, much worse. That is of course a line one … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in bullies, de Gennes, hierarchies, power imbalance, Science Culture | Leave a comment

Research Leadership: Are we Getting it Right?

We are stuck in an academic world where the model of how science research is done appears not to have shifted much from that deemed appropriate fifty years ago. Back then (more or less when I set out, give or … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in bullying, HEPI, Matthew Flinders, mentoring, Research, Science Culture, teams | Leave a comment

Does Life Get Better at Mid-Career?

Julie Gould and Nature Careers podcasts have been running an interesting series (Muddle of the Middle) on what it’s like to be a mid-career/middle aged scientist. A time when precarity is likely to be past, but reality of all the different … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in equity, harassment, obstacles, patronising, Science Culture, Women in science | Comments Off on Does Life Get Better at Mid-Career?

Investing in People

We have all got used to the wonders of Zoom (or Teams if you prefer) over the last couple of years. It may have made academic life as we were used to it viable during the pandemic, but it has … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in apprenticeships, careers, education, House of Lords, Science Funding, skills, solar panels | Comments Off on Investing in People

Why We Still Need Ada Lovelace Day

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate women in science and inspire future generations. It is often said that ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’, and if young children only ever see images of men as scientists, … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Future of Skills and Education?

It is only six weeks since I last wrote about skills on this blog. Not, you might think, a very long time for change to happen. And yet much has. A new monarch (probably the least important for the theme … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in education, Equality, Further Education, investment, Lifelong learning entitlement, Science Funding, science superpower | Comments Off on The Future of Skills and Education?

Impostors at a Conference

September has always been a busy time for conferences, and I have attended a fair few in my time. However, the one I attended this week was the first scientific one I recall having impostor syndrome publicly mentioned several times, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Dodgy Encounters with a Fragile Piece of Equipment

Doing a PhD is hard work, stressful and uncertain. Even with the most understanding of supervisors, the clearest goals and routes to get there, there will be hiccoughs and worse en route to getting the letters after your name. And, … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in craze, Ed Kramer, electron microscopy, luck, Research, Siemens | Comments Off on Dodgy Encounters with a Fragile Piece of Equipment

Celebrations are in Order

A Level results are out, and students are now either celebrating, or sitting in misery having had their worst fears confirmed. Cambridge colleges, such as my own, will be assessing whether or not we’ve hit our multiple targets – by … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Churchill College, education, minority status, STEM, Women in science | Comments Off on Celebrations are in Order

Joining the Dots Around Skills

You don’t have to read beyond the first few lines of the summary of last week’s House of Lords’ Science and Technology Select Committee Report to recognize they are sceptical about the Government’s direction of travel when it comes to … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in absorptive capacity, careers, diffusion, education, Felixstowe, green economy, House of Lords, Science Funding | Comments Off on Joining the Dots Around Skills

To Travel or Not to Travel?

Now the academic year has come to an end, it is possible to start to reflect on the year past and what next year might, and I emphasise might, look like. This year has not been as full of Covid-stresses … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in carbon budgets, Communicating Science, conferences, hybrid meetings, Science Culture, Zoom | Comments Off on To Travel or Not to Travel?

Marking UKRI’s scorecard

UKRI is still a relatively young organization, trying to find its way in a funding landscape that has been impacted by Brexit, a pandemic and now soaring inflation eating away at the value of every grant or PhD stipend. Nevertheless, … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in communications, grant review, interdisciplinarity, Nurse Review, Ottoline Leyser, Research, Science Funding | Comments Off on Marking UKRI’s scorecard

A Diversion into History of Science

As a physicist, I may enjoy reading popular history books, but I don’t expect to get involved with history. Coming to Churchill College has given me a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Archives here and how they are … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Archives, Maggie Thatcher, Mary Astell, Rene Descartes, Women in science | Comments Off on A Diversion into History of Science

Getting Involved with Policy-making

Last week I presented evidence to the Commons’ Science and Technology’s Select Committee enquiry into Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. I don’t want to rehearse my arguments, which can be read in the transcript of the full morning’s session (or … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Brilliance, Diane Coyle, policy-making, Science and Technology Select Committee, Science Culture, Women in science | Comments Off on Getting Involved with Policy-making