Diana Garnham Lecture - February 2012
Chief Executive of UK Science Council Speaks to Postgraduates on Science Careers in the 21st Century
Earlier this month the Graduate School was pleased to host a lecture by Diana Garnham on exploring different careers in science.
Diana is Chief Executive of the Science Council and a University of Leicester alumnus. In her lecture, Diana looked at what it means to be a professional scientist and what current students and postgraduates can do to ensure they have the mix of skills and behaviours that modern scientists need. Because while the common perception of "scientists" still tends to be all lab coats and Bunsen burners, a huge range of opportunities exist in the 21st century economy for those with a science qualification.
Diana showed how those with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in science could explore a huge range of possible careers, whether as a scientist, in science – but in a directing or other role, or "from science" – using their science skills in a non-science environment. In showing that not all science careers are the same, Diana identified the ten types of scientist and also drew on her own in depth knowledge of the UK science sector and employment trends to give those present some valuable insights into current recruitment patterns.
Diana showed how the UK science workforce was much more complex and disparate that has often been assumed and that those looking to follow a career in science need to understand where scientists are being recruited to give themselves the best chance of success.
The lecture concluded with a look at what it is that employers want from science graduates. Again, Diana had valuable advice for those present, not least that employers still place a considerable premium on the "science mindset" – those core skills that scientists demonstrate in their research and need to be able to apply to novel situations and in non-science settings.
The lecture was followed by a networking reception hosted by the Graduate Dean, Professor Sarah Hainsworth.
About Diana Garnham
Diana Garnham studied politics at the University of Leicester before moving to Kings College London to take her MA degree.
Previously head of the Association of Medical Research Charities, Diana joined the Science Council in 2006 and is now its Chief Executive. In 2010 Diana was asked to chair an expert group looking at science careers by the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills. Diana has a particular interest in the social consequences of science and is an ardent campaigner for public engagement in science and the opening of science careers to all.