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Honorary Fellows: Professor Carole G Mundell

Professor Carole G Mundell for outstanding contributions to astrophysics research and strategic science policy, and taking a leading role in championing diversity and women in STEM.

Professor Carole G Mundell is Director of Science at the European Space Agency. She served as head of the physics department at the University of Bath from 2016 to 2018, when she was appointed as the first woman Chief Scientific Adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). At the FCO, she oversaw the work of the global Science and Innovation Network of over 100 science and innovation attachés in British embassies around the world.

In 2020, Mundell was appointed as the first Chief International Science Envoy in the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. In 2021, she was named the Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy in recognition of her outstanding contribution to her international field of research, her contribution to the University of Bath and her role in championing diversity and women in STEM. In 2021, she was elected President of the Science Council, the first woman to hold the role.

An observational astrophysicist, Mundell began her research career as a radio astronomer at Jodrell Bank Observatory. She then diversified to exploit international ground- and space-based facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum with the goal of understanding cosmic black holes and their environments.

Following time at the University of Maryland, Mundell held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University to study the dynamical evolution of galaxies. There, she built and led an international team specializing in catching the fast-fading light from gamma ray bursts (GRBs). She was awarded a Research Councils UK  Academic Fellowship in recognition of her pioneering work in GRBs and leadership of the Liverpool GRB team. Her team won the 2007 Times Higher Education Research Project of the Year Award That same year she was appointed Professor at Liverpool John Moores University. In 2011, she was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award for the study of black-hole driven explosions and the dynamic universe.

Mundell was appointed Professor at the University of Bath in 2015, where she founded the Bath Astrophysics Group and was named FDM Everywoman in Technology Woman of the Year 2016. She has been involved in national and European research funding allocation and oversight of national and international astronomical facilities. Her contribution to strategic science policy advisory work has included technology, basic research and horizon scanning beyond astrophysics, and she has served on prestigious science boards, including the International Advisory Board of the Royal Society’s Science, Society and Policy initiative. Mundell is a prominent and committed communicator of science to the public, and a vocal advocate for diversity in science.