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Honorary Fellows: Professor Dame Athene Donald

University of Cambridge

For her significant contributions to physics through her pioneering research and her promotion of women in science.

Athene Donald has become a role model for many in the physics community.  She is a highly cited physicist, whose research has explored new areas of soft condensed matter.  Her interdisciplinary approach to her research has firmly placed her as a leader in biological physics; she founded the biology and Soft Systems (BSS) Group at the Cavendish Laboratory and has been acting as Project Director of the Institute of Physics biological physics teaching project.

Athene is held in very high regard, by her peers and in the wider world. She therefore receives and accepts many invitations to advise on scientific and policy matters. She has served on numerous committees from academic appointments and promotions panels through to allocation of research grants, and education policy and a seat on the joint ministerial STEM committee as well as serving on the ERC’s Scientific Council.

Athene’s outreach work has also made her a high profile public figure, with appearances on BBC radio’s “Desert Island Discs”, “Today”, The Life Scientific and “In Our Time”.  Her use of social media sees her promoting physics through her tweets and blogs allows her to communicate with a whole new generation of people.  Donald is an inspirational figure in her work for the promotion of women in physics.  She is currently Director of the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative at the University of Cambridge and Chair of the national Athena Forum.