Curriculum Vitae


Address :         Cavendish Laboratory,

JJ Thomson Avenue,

Cambridge   CB3 OHE : +44 (0)1223 337382

Fax:     : +44 (0)1223 337000



Present Employment :

1998-               Professor of Experimental Physics, Department of Physics

1981-               Fellow of Robinson College


Previous employment:

1977 - 81         PDRA Cornell University (Department of Materials Science and Engineering),

1981 - 3           SERC Fellowship held at the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science, University of Cambridge.

1983 - 5           Royal Society 1983 Research Fellowship held at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.

1985 - 95         Lecturer in the Department of Physics, University of Cambridge. 

1995- 8            Reader in Experimental Physics, University of Cambridge

2003- 10          Deputy Head (with responsibility for Finance and Resources from 2005-10)


Education :

1971 - 4           Cambridge University, B.A.

1974 - 7           Cambridge University, Ph.D.  


Prizes and Honours

1989    Charles Vernon Boys Prize of the Institute of Physics.

1989    Samuel Locker Award in Physics (University of Birmingham; £5000)

1995    Rosenhain Medal and Prize (Institute of Materials)

1999        Elected Fellow of the Royal Society

2003    William Hopkins Prize of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

2005    Mott Medal of the Institute of Physics

2006    Bakerian Lecturer of the Royal Society

2009    Laureate for Europe, L’Oreal/UNESCO For Women for Science Awards

2009    Elected to the Academia Europaea

2009    Founders’ Prize, Polymer Physics Group of the Institute of Physics

2010    Fellow of the Science Museum, London

2010    IOP Faraday Gold Medal

2010    Mott Lecturer for the IOP's Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Division

2010    Appointed DBE in the Birthday Honours

2011    UKRC Women of Outstanding Achievement Award: Lifetime Achievement

2012    Honorary DSc’s from Exeter University and UEA

2013    Elected Fellow of the European Academy of Science

2013    One of MRC’s Suffrage Science winners for 2013

2013    Honorary DSc from University of Sheffield


University Roles

I am a Deputy Vice Chancellor, a member of the University Council, the Equality and Diversity Committee and the Research Planning Committee. I am the University’s Gender Equality Champion and chair the Gender Equality Group. Within my own department I am a member of the Senior Management Group and chair its Unit of Assessment (which includes the Institute of Astronomy) REF panel.


Selected Recent National and International Committees and Responsibilities

2006-10 1st Chair of Biological Physics Group of the IOP

2006 -    Member International Scientific Committee for ESPCI, Paris

2007-8   Chair, EBS Committee Review for BBSRC

2010-11 Chair, BBSRC Committee C; Deputy Chair 2009

2010      Member, Physics Pilot REF panel

2010-     Chair Royal Society Education Committee

2010-     Project Director for the IOP’s Biological Physics Teaching Project

2011-     Trustee Science Museum Group

2011-12 Member Reports on Progress in Physics Editorial Board

2012-     Observer Royal Society Science Policy Advisory Group

2012-     Member  Kroto Institute, University of Sheffield, Advisory Group

2012-     Member Royal Society Council

2013-     Member ERC Scientific Council



I have been engaged in a variety of events revolving around the public awareness of science, dating from the time I headed up the team of 4 giving the 1995-6  IOP Schools Lecture Series, giving a lecture entitled "Building with Snakes - the Physics of Long Chain Molecules" at ~25 venues around the country. On the back of the L’Oreal Prize I have been delighted to be given a number of opportunities (ranging from Desert Island Discs to Woman’s Hour) to talk about my science to a large audience on the radio. In the last couple of years I have participated in Start the Week, Essential Classics and In Our Time.



Through my role as Chair of the Royal Society Education Committee I am involved in discussions with civil servants, SPADs and Ministers and sit on the Joint Ministerial STEM Committee (headed up by the Schools and University Ministers).



2007-     Director of WiSETI (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology  Initiative)

2009-     Chair Athena Forum

2009-     Patron Daphne Jackson Trust

2009-     Member Equality and Diversity Network of the Royal Society

2011-12 Chair L’Oreal/UNESCO FWIS Fellowships Jury

2012 -    Member IOP Advisory Group on Girls In Physics


Within the University I am the Gender Equality Champion and chair the Gender Equality Group. Nationally, I chair the Athena Forum and am increasingly asked to talk at relevant events (including abroad), such as other university’s Athena Swan events. I have written numerous articles about issues for girls and women in science (eg for the Smith Institute and for Fabiana), and this topic forms a substantial part of my blogs  my personal blog at, on Guardian science blogs and at Physics Focus, the new IOP blog.


In the last 2 years talks other than science talks have far outnumbered standard seminar and conference presentations, although they often have some research content.


Talks since 2011


Outreach and Careers

Imperial Cancer Research Postdoc Day

Edinburgh Engineering Graduate Research Day

IOP (Wales) Schoolteachers Event

IOP (SE Branch)

IOP (East Anglia Branch)

IOP Liverpool City of Culture Event (x2)

Edinburgh Innovative Learning Week

Patrons of the Science Museum

St Paul’s Girls School

Skipton High School

Imperial Life Sciences Postdoc Day (upcoming)

2 debates at Hay Philosophy Festival

Science Week Debate on the Future of Healthcare

Science Week Lecture

Oxford  Science Society

Cambridge Union Society


Recent Appointees in Materials Science

Bedford Girls High

Triple Helix Society

IOP Nanoscience Group Careers’ Day

Royal Institution Friday Evening Discourse

Leeds Bioscience postgraduate symposium


School Education

Association of School Educators

Sunday Times Festival of Education

Westminster Forum

Quantitative Skills debate at British Academy



Manchester WISET

Osterreiche Naturwissenschaft Gesellschaft

Leicester Athena Swan

Exeter Athena Swan

Leeds WISE

InGov Meeting

Dorothy Hodgkin Day

Hay Philosophy Festival

Triple Helix Debates (twice) on science and women

Eureka Debate on science and  women

L’Oreal FWIS Fellowship Day

Launch of ASSET Report

Leeds University Athena Swan

Sheffield University Women’s Network

Newcastle Women’s Group

Imperial College Athena Swan Lecture



Sidgwick Lecture, Newnham College

Cambridge International Summer School

University of Kent (open lecture,  upcoming)

St John College (Oxford) Interdisciplinary Institute (upcoming)


Contributions on Radio (since 2009)

Essential Classics

Today x2

Desert Island Discs

A Good Read (discussing biography of Erasmus Darwin)

In Our Time  (macromolecules )

Start the Week with Andrew Marr

Women’s Hour

Life Scientific

Several interviews with Radio 5 and local radio


BBC News 24 x2


Print and Online Journalism

Regular blogger for Guardian Science Blogs

2 articles for Observer Comment and 1 for Politics section

Daily Telegraph (1 article)

Interviews with the Daily Mail and Observer