New lecture mini-series: Challenges and Changes

3 November 2020

Challenges and changes mini-series

The Department of Physics is running a new mini-series of lectures entitled ‘Challenges and Changes’ and hosted by Dr Alex Ramadan [she/her].

‘Who we are and the experiences we go through shape the way we see the world around us,’ explains Alex. ‘As physicists our experiences shape how we do our research and the problems we choose to tackle. It is important we have physicists with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds working on the answers to fundamental questions about the universe around us. Through this we will ensure we are tackling issues which go beyond one specific group of people or experiences and that we are ensuring an accurate view of the world around us. Without this we will not be able to achieve the ultimate goal of research in physics: understanding how the universe behaves. The problem of a lack of diversity within the sciences and the scientific workforce is universal across the disciplines. In this lecture series we will be discussing some of the challenges we face in Physics to making our community more diverse, equal and inclusive.’

‘We will be hearing from speakers from a wide range of backgrounds about what they think some of the challenges are, the work they have done and are doing to make real changes and how we can all do our part to build a better physics community. This is an open lecture series hosted by the Department of Physics where we welcome everyone to come and learn in a welcoming and inclusive environment. The speakers will present their research in physics to the department during the talks, however you do not need a high level of physics understanding to attend.’

The series kicked off with a lecture from Dr Jess Wade [she/her], a research fellow at Imperial College, London and an advocate for minority voices in science; if you would like to watch a recording of Dr Wade’s talk, please contact Alex Ramadan. The second lecture of the series was led by Dr Clara Barker [she/her], a thin-film material scientist who manages the Centre for Applied Superconductivity in the Materials Department at Oxford University. Clara is the Chair of the Oxford University LGBT+ advisory group and runs a youth group for LGBT+ people, as well as giving many talks in schools and beyond in which she shares her story of being a trans scientist. In 2017 she won a Prime Minister's Points of Light Award for her outstanding volunteer work.

A third lecture given by Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell [she/her] will take place on 23 November at 3.30pm; for more information and to book:
https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/events/2020/11/23/challenges-changes-in-physics-prof-jocelyn-bell-burnell