Tom Welton on equality in science

Scientific Excellence and Equality – a Contradiction?

Wed, 4 and Thu, 5 November 2020, 13:30 –17:30, Zoom Conference

Prof. Tom Welton, OBE FRSC FCGI, Imperial College London, UK

The goals of this conference are to discuss current academic, structural and institutional challenges universities face today to promote equality while assuring that a high level of scientific excellence is maintained. It is hoped that the active discourse amongst the attendees not only stimulate a higher awareness for unconscious bias and gender differences but also result in the identification of promising measures of success to reach a true state of equal opportunity.

Tom Welton is currently President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Professor of Sustainable Chemistry at Imperial College London. For him, Sustainable Chemistry is both the implementation of sustainability in the production and use of chemicals (Green Chemistry) and the application of chemistry and chemical products to enable sustainable development. He is the author of over 140 research papers, mostly on the structures and chemistry of ionic liquids and solutes in these.

Prior to this he was Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College (2014-2019), and before that Head of the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College (2007-2014).

He is widely acknowledged to be a champion of diversity in science and was head of department when the Chemistry department at Imperial College won its first Athena SWAN Gold award. Together with Alison Roger of the University of Warwick, he founded the Irene Juliot-Curie conference series. He is a L’Oréal-UNESCO Male Champion for Women in Science, a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion advisory boards of both UKRI and Elsevier. In recognition of these activities, he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017.