2018 Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize
Dr Jess Wade of Imperial College London for acting as an internationally-recognised ambassador for STEM, enhancing engagement across a wide range of demographics, through sustained and stimulating community engagement and outreach.
Dr Jess Wade is an Early Career Researcher in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, where her research focuses on circularly polarising light-emitting diodes. She augments this with her advocacy and public engagement activities to build a sustained culture change in physics, particularly in the promotion of physics to girls.
Her many significant efforts include representing the UK on the US State Department International Visitor Leadership Programme ‘Hidden No More’; membership on the WISE Young Women’s Board and WES Council; working with teachers across the country through the Stimulating Physics Network (including giving keynote presentations); representing the IOP at the New Zealand Institute of Physics conference discussing the Improving Gender Balance Project; a Wikipedia campaign to promote early-career and women role models in STEM; her collection of illustrations digesting complex topics for a wider audience (commissioned by the Royal Institution for the 2016 and 2017 Christmas Lectures); and a growing media profile.
Jess coordinated the 55-person UK team for the 6th International Women in Physics Conference, resulting in an invitation to discuss the IOP gender balance work in Germany. She devotes a significant amount of her time to supporting the engagement of schoolchildren through school activities and festivals, and the organisation of a series of events at Imperial College London for girls, which she has successfully funded through public engagement grants (wikithons, panel discussions, taster days and summer schools). In 2017, Jess was awarded the Imperial College Julia Higgins Medal for her significant contributions to the support of academic women, and IOM3’s Robert Perrin Award.
Jess is a committee member for the IOP Physics Communicators Group, where as well as organising events across the country she is responsible for editing the successful newsletter – as well as leading the London and South East Branch, through which she coordinates the Weizmann Year 12 Physics competition and Women in Physics group.
Jess’s skills and efforts in engagement are widely recognised, and according to Dr Simon Foster she is one of Imperial’s most sought after public engagement practitioners.