Why we need a new generation of science leaders

In March 2017, the head of the Royal Society, Dame Margaret Hodge, resigned from the Royal College of Physicians, after it emerged that she had received a £40,000 payment from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to “assist” in its funding.

In a statement at the time, the RCP called for a shakeup in the R&P department, which it described as “one of the most influential scientific departments in the world”.

In its statement, the Royal Institution said that Dame Hodge had been “deliberately removed from the role of RCP head to assist the work of the new scientific department”.

Dame Hutton resigned the following year. 

In a letter to the RUC, Dame Hoyle said that she felt it was important for the Royal and its members to “strengthen our ability to conduct research in an open and honest manner and to recognise the value of diversity”.

Dame Margaret said that the RPI had “inherited a culture of open-mindedness, open inquiry and public service”.

“We need to build a culture that values diversity, which means having a diverse set of leaders and not just people who fit the stereotype of a scientist or a scientist-in-chief,” she said. 

She said that there was “a significant number of scientists, especially those with a Ph.

D or MSc, who are not in positions of authority”. 

“In the future, I hope we can have more of these roles in place and more of them who are people who are diverse, people who do not have a certain set of skills,” she added. 

 On the eve of the 2017 general election, the Queen’s Speech was released, in which she announced that Dame Margaret would be appointed as chair of the RSPCA. 

Dame Margaret has since resigned from RCP Dagmar Borg is a freelance writer and researcher based in Stockholm. 

Read more about science