Archive Campbell Lecture Series

Campbell Lecture 2015

Professor Jane Francis


Jane Francis is Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge. A geologist by training from the University of Southampton, she was a NERC Postdoctoral Fellow in London, palaeobotanist at the British Antarctic Survey, Australian Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, lecturer at the University of Leeds, and a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow. From 2008-13 she was Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Leeds. Her interests include ancient climates and she studies fossil plants from the Arctic and Antarctica to decipher high-CO2 climates of the past. She was awarded the Polar Medal for her contribution to British polar research

Going to the ends of the Earth to be a woman in science
The polar regions were once considered to be remote, harsh, cold, physically challenging – and no place for a woman. These days there are many women who work in the Arctic and Antarctica, following their passion for science. I will present some of my own work as a geologist in the polar regions and the pathway that has taken me to the ends of the Earth.

Suw Charman-Anderson


Suw Charman-Anderson is the founder of Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Each year, ALD hosts flagship science cabaret event in London, whilst around the world independent groups put on their own events. Last year, Ada Lovelace Day Live! itself was hosted by the venerable Royal Institution, and there were over 65 grassroots events in 13 different countries on five continents.

Suw is a social technologist and, as one of the UK’s social media pioneers, has worked with clients worldwide. A freelance journalist, she has written about social media, technology and publishing for The Guardian, CIO Magazine and Forbes. She also co-founded the Open Rights Group in 2005.

Learn more about Ada Lovelace Day at

The Invention of Career
Whenever we assess other people’s professional careers, it’s tempting to interpret them as a mindful progression from job to more senior job, but the truth is almost always messier than that. We like to think that our professional lives are neatly bundled fairytales with beginnings, middles and endings. Drawing on her own experience, Suw will talk about how such a view obscures an important modern truth: that you can invent your own job, that new professions pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and the career you have in 5 years might not even exist yet.

Campbell Lecture 2014

Professor Curt Rice

Professor Curt Rice

In a break with tradition, but in the spirit of inclusion and honouring diversity, we have also asked a man to take part in the Campbell Lecture, namely Professor Curt Rice. He is a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. From 2009–2013, he served as the elected Vice Rector for Research and Development (prorektor for forskning og utvikling) at the University of Tromsø, where he is a professor of linguistics. Before that, from 2002–2008, he was the founding director of their Norwegian Center of Excellence, the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics, or CASTL.

Curt is also a champion of women in academia and strong proponent of gender balance in higher education.

Confessions of a male sexist
Professor Rice will argue that the core challenge to improving gender balance is finding ways to overcome implicit bias. The cultures in which we live lead us as individuals to have different associations for men and women and their roles in the workplace. These implicit biases play themselves out in hiring processes, promotion, salary assignment, grant reviews, even in citation practices. Rice will highlight some of the most exciting research on this topic and then will discuss a specific project designed to counter these effects that he led while he was Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Tromsø. Tromsø has radically changed its gender balance profile, whereby they progressed over 10 years from being the worst university in Norway with only 9% women among full professors, to being the best in Norway, with over 30% women as full professors.

Dame Professor Athene Donald DBE FRS

Dame Athene Donald





We have invited Dame Professor Athene Donald DBE FRS, Professor of Experimental Physics at University of Cambridge, Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee, and long-time champion of women in science to address us.

A Personal Consideration of Career Trajectories and Facilitating Women’s Progression

“Careers certainly need not go in straight lines or follow a pre-determined path, and this is certainly the case of my own. I think it is important to recognize that chance as well as hard work and determination play their part and women need to be ready to seize opportunities that come their way and overcome their fears. I will consider how both the individual and institutions can facilitate women’s career progression.”

If you want to find out more about these wonderful speakers why not start with their blog pages and


Campbell Lecture 2012

Professor Ottoline Leyser

Ottoline Leyser

Professor Ottoline Leyser
‘Women in science – the glass half full.


Women are under-represented in science. The reasons are often different for the different science disciplines. In the Biosciences, there are more than 50% women at undergraduate level, but they progressively disappear along the leaky pipeline of the academic career. There is a lot of discussion about why this might be, and the discussion is almost all about how very difficult everything is. While it is certainly true that academic careers are competitive, the negativity in the discussion about academic careers in science and the ability of women to pursue them is in my view a self-fulfilling prophecy. If women are endlessly being told how difficult everything is, why would they choose to follow the academic career path when there are so many others available to them? And interestingly, why do men disproportionately choose to stick with the “difficult” career? I think there needs to be more emphasis on the range of career options available and their diverse merits, so that everyone is choosing their career path based more on positives, and less on negatives.


2011: 8th Annual Campbell Lecture “Increasing the Stature and Leadership Opportunities of Women in Science and Technology”

Professor Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon


Abstract: Strong leadership in science and technology is critically important in sustaining life on this planet and assuring the health and well-being of its inhabitants. These leadership roles are broad and diverse, from the science instructor that teaches and nurtures the emerging scientist, to the director of a research group or laboratory, to the federal agency worker or political appointee who assists in setting policy and funding national priorities. Women scientists and engineers have much to contribute in these roles but often face many obstacles in achieving them and having an impact in these positions. In this presentation I will share my experience in this area and the experiences of the thousands of women that we have helped achieve their career goals through our COACh program. What we have learned about the role that institutions and mentors can play in this area will also be discussed.

The University of Southampton Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WISET) group was launched in 2002. The group’s mission is to support women in Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) to achieve their full potential by shaping the policies and culture of our University.

Professor Geraldine Richmond is Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon. She holds numerous prestigious professional awards in Chemistry and is the founder and chair of COACh (Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists), an organization assisting in the advancement of women faculty in the sciences. Over 4000 science faculty, students, postdocs and administrators around the United States and abroad have benefitted from professional training and networking workshops developed by COACh. She has been honored for these efforts by the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring (1997), the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Women in the Chemical Sciences (2005) and the Council on Chemical Research Diversity Award (2006). More information about Prof Richmond can be found at


Annual Campbell Lecture 2010

Professor Anne Glover gave the 7th Annual Campbell Lecture on 20th May 2010


Her talk was entitled: “A life of sex, drugs and rock and roll”.    Professor Glover stated: “Curiosity and impatience have been the two major forces in my career. I have changed research areas several times and also commercialised some of my research output. I never gave much thought to being a “woman in a man’s world” at the beginning of my career but soon became aware that my working environment was being controlled mostly by men so I needed to make sure that I understood the rules. This made life a lot simpler!”

In her talk she shared some of her experiences in the hope it might make life easier for others (both men and women!).   Professor Glover holds a Personal Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen, and has honorary positions at the Rowett and Macaulay Institutes. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a member of the Natural Environment Research Council, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.   She has an active research group pursuing a variety of areas from microbial diversity to the development and application of whole cell biosensors (biological sensors) for environmental monitoring and investigating how organisms respond to stress at a cellular level. Professor Glover, has been writing a blog for GetSETWomen with interesting discussions on aspirations, challenges and mentoring. She is a member of GetSET Women and has supported the work of the UKRC and the Scottish Resource Centre for Women in SET in various ways. In 2008 she was one of six Women of Outstanding Achievement in SET. Professor Glover has a strong commitment to making sure scientific knowledge is used to benefit the community and she is keen to try and convey the excitement and relevance of science to non-scientists

Campbell Lecture series since 2005