Professor Carole Mundell
Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath, and Chief International Science Envoy at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Headshot: University of Bath
If one thing is guaranteed in the world of science – it is change and adaptation. Whether this is within natural systems, methodology, or when acting on research findings, flexibility is key.
Like no other, the past 18 months has shown us that the modern world is more connected than ever, which presents huge global challenges – ones which science and engineering are key in helping to solve. The incredible accomplishments we’ve seen within science, engineering and technology are something to be celebrated. They have highlighted the importance of teamwork, global collaboration, and recognition of the science workforce in order to reach a common goal. We have taken a giant step forward – but how do we keep moving?
The Science Council is in a unique position to recognise the brilliance of this cross disciplinary work, and highlight the imperative to build and operate diverse, agile teams to tackle complex global challenges. Monocultures will only ever – at best – provide partial solutions. However, attracting and maintaining diverse teams presents its own challenge. Sustainable strategic planning is essential to foster, support and retain the talent that science has to offer.
The road ahead of us may be long, but it is also exciting. The journey for the science workforce hinges on vital cross-sector dedication and work to implement sustainable diversity practices. For this reason, initiatives which bring together policy makers, decision makers and influencers are essential.
The road ahead of us may be long, but it is also exciting. The journey for the science workforce hinges on vital cross-sector dedication and work to implement sustainable diversity practices.
As the incoming President of the Science Council, this is what I strive to achieve via the dedicated 36 professional bodies and learned societies that make up our community. The Science Council’s strength extends from its broad membership across disciplines and professions and an ability to be multi- and inter-disciplinary in its approach. Knowledge sharing is encouraged and facilitated through our networks, but importantly, so is mutual support.
By promoting equality, diversity and inclusion the Science Council and its member bodies aim to create greater opportunity for any individual to fulfil their scientific potential, harnessing their diverse backgrounds and circumstances. In so doing it will also help science to better serve society by attracting the widest possible talent to the science workforce and ensuring a secure, equitable and sustainable future for all.