Dr Amanda Hardy
Winner: 2020 Inspirational Member Award
Royal Society of Biology and RSC Chilterns and Middlesex Local Section
For her dedication to the diversification of the committee and programmes of the Chilterns and Middlesex Local Section.
Celebrate Dr Amanda Hardy
Dr Hardy applies her chemical and biological knowledge in her role as Senior Outreach Officer at the Royal Society of Biology. She is extremely passionate about the sciences and the ability, as part of the Royal Society of Biology staff team, to share her knowledge, enthusiasm, career history and experience of science to educate, entertain and engage in conversations about bioscience with people of all ages and backgrounds at festivals and community run events.
At festivals she uses simple, visually appealing hands-on science activities to teach festival visitors about biology and science, and to start conversations about why biology and related sciences are important to all of us.Read full biography
Dr Amanda Hardy gained her BSc and PhD from University College London. Her PhD was in Raman analysis of thin films produced by chemical vapour deposition and today, similar coatings are used to make self-cleaning windows.
She has been a member of several Royal Society of Chemistry committees based in Kent and London, most lately coming back to Chilterns and Middlesex local section after a few years as a teacher in Kent. She has been committee chair of Chilterns and Middlesex local section for six years.
Through the RSC, she has met some fantastic chemists, many of whom have become friends, and has very much enjoyed volunteering with the RSC in many committee roles, including events planning and committee treasurer. It is important to Dr Hardy that committee opportunities are made open to all who want to join, with new committee members being welcomed into the team, as she once was as a youngster. Her committee’s events and activities are created to include something for everyone through the year, with events for families and for chemists in universities, other settings, in studies or retirement.
What have you personally got out of volunteering?
Volunteering with various Royal Society of Chemistry committees since the age of 18, I have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting chemists, of all ages, backgrounds and specialisms. It has been a great opportunity to learn more about the breadth and depth of chemistry as a discipline, to make many good friends at various career stages, and to keep in contact through the RSC.
What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in chemistry?
A career in chemistry is a great aspiration, the skills you learn are very transferrable and you might end up working in a cross-disciplinary team. You may one day be a world leading expert in your specialism or bring chemistry to other roles outside of the lab.
Whatever you do, if you love chemistry you should follow this up by learning as much as you can and seeing where opportunities take you. Chemists tend to be nice people and respect enthusiasm for the subject and will, if you ask nicely, tell you about their research. This is a great opportunity to learn what is possible.
Future career options after studying chemistry can go beyond lab work, from becoming an astronaut to an MP. If you work hard almost anything is possible.
Why do you think it is important to inspire people with chemistry?
Chemistry is a ‘key’ that can open doors to a great future – if people work hard and are given opportunities and ideas of where their skills would be useful.
What is special about the networks of the Royal Society of Chemistry?
You meet some of the nicest people at Burlington House, at events or just using RSC services based in the building such as the library and coffee making facilities in the members’ area.