Chemistry World and the Inclusion and Diversity team at the Royal Society of Chemistry are proud to offer a monthly 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 second webinar in the series focused on the challenges of a new remote working culture, which is being experienced by many chemists as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers you can read about below also explored the opportunities that can arise from supporting flexibility in work environments.

Some of the things that David Sales (expert in leadership and working effectively), Claire Murray (chemist and community leader) and Anna Cox (researcher and leader in inclusion and diversity) discussed include:

  • Psychology of remote working, as applied to individuals, teams and organisations
  • Creating community to counter COVID-19 closures
  • Enabling and supporting flexible work environments

BSL interpretation was provided in the live webinar – also included in the recording above – by Rachael Dance, Cambridgeshire Deaf Association.

David Sales, Director, First Ascent and Emergenetics UK

Speaker: David Sales

David is an acknowledged expert in the fields of leadership, communications and the brain science of people working together effectively. He joined BT following graduation from Cambridge and took his MBA at Warwick. He is now a director of First Ascent and Emergenetics UK. He is Head of Training at St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge, Europe’s first innovation incubator. He is a Master Trainer for Emergenetics globally.

Claire Murray, Beamline scientist, Diamond Light Source

Speaker: Claire Murray

Claire is an Irish chemist who spends her days obsessing over the shapes of molecules at Diamond Light Source. She is currently a visiting scientist at Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung in Berlin. She believes in the power of community to humanise science and actively seeks to inclusively build this into her work. She is a member of the UKRI External Advisory Group for equality, diversity and inclusion. She can be found on Twitter @drclairemurray.

Anna Cox, UCL

Speaker: Anna Cox

Anna Cox is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC), and Vice Dean (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) in the Faculty of Brain Sciences. She was Deputy-Director of UCLIC 2009-2017, chair of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, achieving renewal of a silver award on 2 occasions, and Faculty Athena SWAN lead 2017-2019. She is also a parent. Professor Cox’s current research focuses on work and wellbeing in the digital age.

Rachael Dance, BSL interpreter and advocate

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. Rachael is joining us to promote the accessibility of the webinars for Deaf people. Rachael also works as an Advocate for Deaf people for Cambridgeshire Deaf Association.


Ben Valsler

Moderator: Benjamin Valsler, digital editor, Chemistry World magazine

Ben is the digital editor of Chemistry World magazine, producing video and podcasts to accompany the magazine and website. Prior to joining the Royal Society of Chemistry, he was the producer of the award-winning Naked Scientists, making local and national radio programmes for the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Primedia in South Africa.

Royal Society of Chemistry logo

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.