Dr. Linda Summerton, CEO Immodulon.

Dr. Linda Summerton,

CEO Immodulon.
strengthening the immune system to cure pancreatic cancer

My father said “A woman is better than any man.
You go out there and show them what you can do.”

Dr.Linda Summerton

CEO Immodulon

Northern attitudes
I grew up in Sunderland, in the north of England, where it was usual for money to be  saved for the boy’s education, not the girl’s.  It’s the boy, who had the education. He was very special.   He grew up with that confidence.   But my father said:  ” A woman is better than any man.   You go out there and show them what you can do.”

My driving instructor said “What’s all this A level and university stuff, you’re going to get married and have children.”  Just typical of working class north of England.  But because of my father, I thought I could conquer the world. Continue reading

Professor Dame Athene Donald

Professor Dame Athene Donald
Champion of Women’s Equality

If I had one action to change the world,  I would worry about equality.   
I think we ignore it at our peril.   That’s not just gender,  its ethnic,  it’s  socio-economic.

The Women's Equality Champion from 2010 to 2014

The Women’s Equality Champion from 2010 to 2014

Professor Dame Athene Donald is a scientist working at

The Cavendish.  Amongst many other roles she is  Master of Churchill College at Cambridge, where she was Cambridge’s Gender Equality Champion from 2010-2014.   She also chaired the Education Committee for The Royal Society.

I don’t’ consider myself to be a feminist    I associate the word with the sort of 60s culture, man hating.    I believe in Equality absolutely, but I don’t like the word Feminist.   I know that the modern use is different, but I still feel uncomfortable with it.
Anne Marie Slaughter speaks of strong women, who did stay in the house, but they did have dreams and wanted their daughters and grand daughters to go on to great things, but if you have  a mother who is says don’t do that, you’ll break your nails, it’s hardly encouraging or supportive.

It just appalls me the messages, Maths isn’t for girls, or  T-shirts saying I’m too pretty to do maths .

Continue reading

Professor Susan Greenfield Neuroscientist

Professor Susan Greenfield  Research Neuroscientist

Woman of Science

“A woman takes on a job to get something done,

a man takes on a job to be someone.” 

Mike Rann Premier of South Australia


I was in for a science  prize in the states. When I  came second, a male colleague rang.  He  said, well you are foreign and you are a woman.  It was said in all kindness, that will explain everything.  A foreigner and a woman. Continue reading


3 Women-in-Science


One of the most egregious omissions at the Nobel prize was the award to Watson and Crick, overlooking Rosa Franklin, as not entitled because she was dead.  Also deemed ineligible was a female student who discovered Pulsars, her professors were awarded the Nobel. Continue reading

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell Astrophysicist

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Astrophysicist and President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

She discovered the first radio pulsars,as a postgraduate student. Her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Ryle, because Jocelyn was considered as ineligible as a student.

I was the only female in a class of 50 students in college which was difficult. There was a

Jocelyn Bell Burnell Astrophysicist

Astrophysicist and President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

tradition among the students that when a female walked into a lecture theatre all the guys stamped and whistled and called and banged the desk. ” I faced that for every class I walked into for my last two years.”

My best moment, would be the discovery of Pulsars. (aka (little green men)      Another being when the decision was taken about Pluto not being a planet.   I got called in to facilitate the meetings about that, because I could handle a large audience, a large crowd.   I’m proud how I turned around a tricky situation there. Continue reading

“I want to retire to Mars”

 “I want to retire to Mars”

 New Presenter of Sky at Night on BBC 

Professor Maggie Aderin Pocock

Who do you think you are?

I define myself as a Scientist, first and foremost.   Also as a Communicator, but that came much later.   As a Scientist I have a brilliant job, I travel the world. Science can change peoples’ lives – we can save peoples’ lives! That’s one of my lifelong aspirations; to communicate my passion to others.

The Science Communicator

The Science Communicator

 I like going into Inner City schools.  I live for that.

The child who did not speak


The best thing that happened to me was at a mixed ability school which included some deaf children, one of whom was a voluntary mute.   In the middle of my talk he suddenly started asking his teacher questions, “What happens if two universes collide?”   To think the universe can inspire so much!

My two role models  are a bit odd! First is Dr. Spock (sic), from Star Trek, and second is Sherlock Holmes. But they have things in common; both are analytical and very unemotional. Because my parents split up when I was four, I think the idea of being in total control of your emotions was quite appealing to me because so much was going on and I couldn’t control it.   So to be reserved, to analyze things and get a result, was very appealing to me.

Next, Yuri Gagarin: and the more I found out about him, the more passionate I got about him. We share a birthday, and he died the year I was born, and (of course) he was the first person into Space.

At a very early age  I was aware that my father  wanted a boy. Continue reading

Women in the Work Place

Women in the Work Place

Returners and Retention


discoverer of Pulsars

photo University of Bath
Astrophysicist and President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh


The Women who do Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics degrees in Scotland, don’t stay.   More than two thirds leave, yet less than half of the men leave the field.  At the same time the ICT industry, energy industry  green industry are  all saying, look we’re heading up for an enormous skill shortage, in the very near future.   So a country can’t afford that wastage of a large chunk of its talent.   It needs somehow to keep those women.


The new President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the outstanding astrophysicist science communicator, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, is very concerned about the lack of women in STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.   She sees women training in these fields then dropping out.

Professor Bell Burnell, continued    “There’ve been many initiatives: usually  started  by women, done by women. In Scotland  this strategy for women in science,  is  that initiatives  are joined up and that there is a government level strategy, so that they reinforce each other.

Interestingly the NHS, because it’s now dominated by women, has developed a lot of part time working, Continue reading