As part of our Building a better chemistry culture series, on 10 May we hosted a webinar to recognise 2022’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (9-15 May) theme of loneliness, and how it can be averted through connection and a sense of belonging.

In 2021, the Royal Society of Chemistry published A sense of belonging in the chemical sciences, the first ever study of chemical scientists’ lived experiences of belonging in the chemical sciences. The report identified connection as the first of five enablers to belonging – both crucial factors in tackling loneliness. In the words of the Mental Health Foundation, ‘Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness. We can all play a part in this.’

During this hour-long webinar, our speakers – Sarah Bond, Mahesh Sanganee and Audrey Cameron – discuss:

  • the five enablers of belonging and what belonging means to chemical scientists
  • the importance of connection, networks and mentors for career development
  • why accessible practice is crucial to building cultures of belonging

BSL interpretation is provided by Rachael Dance, with Tessa Slaughter and David Summersgill voicing over Audrey Cameron. This webinar was run using GoToWebinar, which loads in your default browser. To access live automatic captions, we recommend using Google Chrome and enabling its Live Caption feature

Sarah Bond

Speaker:  Sarah Bond, For Business’ Sake

Sarah is an experienced consultant, advisor, facilitator, coach and researcher with over 20 years’ experience of working with leaders, managers and teams in the UK, Europe and globally to progress organisational and culture change on diversity and inclusion. Sarah is passionate about inclusion and the creation of inclusive cultures at work.


Mahesh Sanganee

Speaker:  Mahesh Sanganee, Evotec

Mahesh Sanganee is a Senior API Manager at Evotec, Didcot, UK. Mahesh received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at University of Coventry and joined Wellcome, now GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 28 years ago where he completed a part-time PhD at University of North London. In his years at GSK Mahesh has made substantial contributions to a broad range of projects, received several awards and has published numerous publications. At Evotec, Mahesh leads a team of 16 chemists, projects and Learning & Development of API chemists. 


Portrait of teaching fellow Audrey Cameron, who specialises in understanding science through sign language – based at University of Edinburgh

Speaker:  Audrey Cameron

Audrey Cameron is a Chancellor’s Fellow and a Teaching Fellow (Chemistry Education) at Moray House School of Education and Sport at University of Edinburgh. She teaches on 3 courses – PGDE Secondary Education (chemistry), PGDE Primary Education (science), MSc Inclusive Education (deaf studies). Her research interest is understanding science through sign language. She manages the STEM in BSL glossary at the Scottish Sensory Centre, also at University of Edinburgh. Prior to working in the field of education, she did polymer research in Durham and Strathclyde Universities.


Rachael Dance

Interpreter: Rachael Dance

Rachael Dance is training to be a fully qualified British Sign Language interpreter and graduated from Wolverhampton University with BA hons in interpreting English and BSL.


Royal Society of Chemistry logo

Chemistry World and the Inclusion and Diversity team at the Royal Society of Chemistry are proud to offer a webinar series to support the chemical sciences community in response to and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout the Building a better chemistry culture series, we will illuminate the science behind the issues being experienced and provide support tailored to the needs of chemical scientists including sharing coping strategies and reducing stigma around mental health and wellbeing.

The Inclusion and Diversity team drives and coordinates the strategy across all Royal Society of Chemistry activities to support a more inclusive and diverse chemical sciences community. Through research, advocacy and recognising success, we are working to make ‘chemistry for everyone’ a reality. Find out more about our work here.