Ada Lovelace Day
The Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences (NMS) run an event in October each year to coincide with the annual Ada Lovelace Day, which is internationally celebrated.
Ada Lovelace Day aims to address the problem of there being too few women in STEM subjects. Despite evidence that girls do well in such subjects at school, few go on to study them at university and even fewer pursue a career in such subjects.
Ada Day, part of 'Women in Science week' is our flagship event and consists of inspirational talks from a wide variety of speakers. Past speakers have included Dr Roma Agrawal, a structural engineer who worked on the Shard, Dr Maggie Aderin Pocock, present of BBC's The Sky at Night, Professor Paul Walton from the University of York, Kate Russell, Computer Weekly's 13th most influential women in UK IT for 2016 and Angela Saini, author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. Members of the Faculty also take part, Dr Amanda Coles from the Department of Informatics and the Department of Chemistry's Dr Sarah Barry and Dr Helen Coulshed addressed the audience along with the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Michael Luck. There is also a panel discussion which allows for audience participation.
A more detailed description of Ada Lovelace Day and Women in Science Week can be found in the document in the top right of this page, and information and videos on some of the talks below.
Ada Lovelace Day 2018
In October 2018, the day's lead speaker was Professor Barbara Shollock, who will be joining the Faculty in January 2019 as the inaugural Head of the Department of Engineering. She is currently based at the University of Warwick, where she is Academic Director at WMG and professor within the steels processing research group. Prior to this, Professor Shollock was at Imperial College London in the Department of Materials. While at Imperial she led a successful bid, and subsequent renewal, for a Silver Athena SWAN award.
Joining Professor Shollock was Alex Prestage, King’s Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, speaking about alertness and capability in gender equality, while Professor Peter Main, Head of Department of Physics and Chair of the Faculty Equality & Diversity committee, led a panel discussion on the importance of gender equality in STEM and how we can strive to achieve it.
Images and film of the day will be uploaded here soon.
In October 2017, Ada Lovelace day welcomed journalist, science writer and broadcaster Angela Saini, who spoke about her recent book Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. Angela explained how centuries of flawed science has led to an inaccurate and damaging picture of women, creating societal perceptions which still need to be fought against today.
Mathematics PhD students and president of WiSTEM, Michaela Petit addressed the audience, giving an overview of the work WiSTEM do, and they were joined by Department of Informatics PhD student Fares Alaboud and Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology Rivka Isaacson to debate how we can strive to achieve gender equality in higher education, led by Peter Main, chair of the Faculty Equality & Diversity Committee.
View images from the event on Flickr
Ada Lovelace Day, on Wednesday 5 October bought the week to a close. Our keynote speaker was Kate Russell, a journalist, reporter and author who speaks regularly to inspire the next generation of technologists. She was voted Computer Weekly's 13th most influential woman in UK IT in 2016.
Our own Dr Helen Coulshed from the Department of Chemistry, spoke about her experiences throughout her time in higher education, and how she worked to combat a culture of gender inequality. We were also joined by the President of the WiSTEM student society, Fatima Vayani, who explained who WiSTEM are, their mission and activities, and how they were inspired by last year’s Ada Lovelace Day to form their own society.
Professor Peter Main, Head of Department of Physics and Chair of the Faculty Equality & Diversity committee led a panel discussion on the importance of gender equality in STEM and how we can strive to achieve it. We finished with a reception that gave participants the opportunity to reflect on and discuss the issues covered over the course of the week.
You can see the videos here
Following on from the success of Ada Day 2014, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist and presenter of The Sky at Night took part in in our event on Wednesday 7 October 2015. Dr Aderin Pocock talked about her inspirations and the importance of having relatable role models for young women.
Dr Sarah Barry of King’s College London's Department of Chemistry and Professor Paul Walton from the University of York followed. Dr Barry talked of her journey into science while Professor Walton spoke about the issues faced by women in science and the resistant attitudes he has faced when raising awareness with others.
Following the talks a panel discussion chaired by the Dean of the Faculty took place and a networking reception bought the event to a close.
You can see the videos here
You can see the photos here
Wednesday 15 October 2014 was the Faculty's first Ada Lovelace Day. Aimed at promoting strong female role models working in STEM, the audience were given an introduction to the work being done to address the under representation of women in our departments by the Dean of the Faculty.
The event featured inspirational talks from Roma Agrawal, Associate Structural Engineer at WSP, Dr Amanda Coles from the Department of Informatics, a panel discussion and poster presentations.
You can see the videos here