In a special exhibition to mark our 175th anniversary this year, we’re highlighting stories of inspirational individuals – our 175 faces of chemistry
Each of our stories features someone involved in the chemical sciences – role models and champions for an inclusive culture and diverse future generation of scientists; together they represent diversity in the broadest sense.
Professor Lesley Yellowlees was our president when we launched 175 faces of chemistry almost three years ago and she explains why she decided to get behind a project stretching over the 175 weeks leading up to our 175th anniversary.
Lesley says: "I was determined to use my presidency to really highlight diversity and the role of diversity in chemistry because I was the first woman president in 170 years and so I wanted to highlight the role and importance of women in science – but I wanted to expand that and to look at diversity as a whole.
"I think if we are going to seriously crack the big global challenges we have all been set, science and engineering needs everybody to crack that, and why would you not have half of your population – as in women or people from different backgrounds – to come in and try and solve those problems? We know that a good, diverse team will indeed solve problems quicker."
Lesley Yellowlees adds: "A highlight of my week is to click onto the website and to look at the different story that has come up this week because there are some truly, truly inspirational stories there. When I read some of these stories I am humbled and I get such pleasure out of reading what chemistry has done for a wide variety of different people."
The official date for our 175th anniversary is 23 February 2016 and, to mark the occasion, our exhibition showcases the wonderful diversity of our community in the form of 175 individual and inspirational stories.
Running from 22 February to 4 March at Burlington House, on Piccadilly in London (weekdays 10am to 4pm), the exhibition is open to everyone.