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Athena SWAN News & Events

Seminar by Professor Mala Maini

The Pirbright Institute were delighted to host Professor Mala Maini from the Division of Infection and Immunity at University College London (UCL) on 15 January 2015. Professor Maini runs a highly successful research group focusing on Hepatitis B virus interactions with immune cells, consults as a physician at Hepatitis clinics and manages her family unit. Professor Maini gave a detailed seminar about her cutting edge work delineating the mechanisms that HBV uses to modulate cell mediated immunity in the liver in order to achieve persistence. Professor Maini is also the chair of the Athena SWAN committee at UCL and prior to her scientific seminar she agreed to speak at the Institute on her personal journey as a woman in science and how she has managed her work-life balance. She also offered insights to how UCL is tackling the issue of gender inequality in academic science.

Ada Lovelace Day

14 October 2014 was Ada Lovelace day internationally, a day to recognise and raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Ada Lovelace was a Victorian mathematician who wrote the first computer programme 100 years before electronic computers were built. Her notes became critical in inspiring Alan Turing while building the first modern computer in the 1940s. To commemorate Ada Lovelace day the Institute ran a quiz to identify the 10 women Nobel Prize laureates.

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

On the 10 April 2014, we were very fortunate to have a seminar presented by Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell entitled “Tapping all our Talents” which discussed the results of a Scottish enquiry by the Royal Society of Edinburgh into attitudes towards women in STEM subjects.
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was the first female president of the Royal Astronomical Society. As a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, she helped build a radio telescope which identified the first radio pulsars, later identified as a neutron star which led to a Nobel Prize for her Thesis supervisor. In 2007 she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire which acknowledged her contribution in astrophysics. Dame Jocelyn Bell has a distinguished career in astrophysics and currently is a visiting professor at the University of Oxford astrophysics department and is currently a spokesperson for Women in STEM subjects.

SPRINGBOARD COURSE - Women’s development programme

From January through to March 2014 the Institute ran their first Springboard programme for women staff and students. The Springboard Women's Development Programme enables women to identify the clear, practical and realistic steps that they want to take to make a better world for themselves at work and home, whilst building the practical skills and confidence to take these steps.

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