A roundup of attending the Daphne Jackson Trust 2019 Conference

The Daphne Jackson Trust 2019 Conference was an inspirational and entertaining day with stimulating presentations from former fellows, discussions with members of science and engineering institutes and information on current diversity and inclusion work.

The highlight of the day was the conversation with the past and present female presidents of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Physics and Institute of Physics.   These impressive ‘Professor Dames’ were frank about how their careers had progressed, though possibly underplayed their own achievements in reaching the top of their professions.

Another high point was the five-minute, two slide fellowship presentations, where former fellows outlined what their Daphne Jackson Fellowship had done for them. These fellows clearly, and in some cases courageously, outlined the impact their personal life had had on their research careers and how they had used the Fellowship to re- establish and then develop impressive academic careers.

Other presentations detailed how diversity and inclusion is now being incorporated within science and engineering establishments.  This was further emphasised by an excellent personal account of how ethnicity had affected the presenter’s education.

An important part of the conference was the opportunity to network with other current and past fellows and delegates, particularly in discussion during the poster session and at the conference dinner. Research ideas and analytical methods were exchanged; these could develop over time and lead to future collaborations between fellows across STEM disciplines.

In summary, it was a really enjoyable, uplifting and engaging day – I am already looking forward to the next one…thank you!

Emma Hellawell is a Daphne Jackson Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Surrey.

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