Early career researchers from all over the country gathered at the University of Bath for the annual Joliot Curie conference, which took place 5 - 6 September. The aim of the conference was to support those who were setting out on a career in chemistry, and to explore multiple pathways to success. The focus was on women’s progression and different types of success.
The conference heard from three female speakers who represented different stages of an academic career, and who took non-traditional career pathways. A panel discussion allowed the delegates to ask questions and relate their own challenges to those the speakers had faced.
One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Inclusion and Diversity prize to Dr Hoby Wedler, to recognise his work in making chemistry accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Blind since birth, Hoby completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at UC Davis in 2016. He is the founder and director of the non-profit organisation Accessible Science, which runs science summer camps for visually impaired teenagers.
Following the medal presentation, he gave an inspirational talk reflecting on his experiences as a blind chemist and his latest project, looking at developing intelligent sensory design.