Lively chatter and a smell of braised Scotch beef filled the halls of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) as leading female scientists gathered for the first Scottish AcademiaNet Local Meeting. Scotland-based researchers from various fields - from climate change over quantitative modeling to psychology - came together to network and exchange ideas and opinions. The topics of discussion included opportunities and challenges of Brexit for the Scottish research workforce, the gender balance in research institutions as well as personal experiences with AcademiaNet. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, who hosted this very successful first meeting, said: “The RSE recognises the important role that AcademiaNet plays in raising the profile of excellent female academics, and was pleased to become a partner of AcademiaNet in 2013. Scotland has a wealth of expertise within its higher education institutions, and it is a pleasure for me to host the first Local Meeting in Scotland, bringing together some of these experts. The RSE is committed to our mission of ‘advancing learning and useful knowledge’, and to do this we must make full use of our available talent. I look forward to hearing from the AcademiaNet members their ideas on what more can be done to support this.”
The meeting in Edinburgh brought together Fellows of the RSE, Members of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland, as well as other academics and experts. Morven Chisholm, who helped to organize the meeting, said: “AcademiaNet made us aware of the Local Meetings happening elsewhere, and we felt that, given the number of AcademiaNet members in Scotland, it would be good to try to arrange something ourselves. We have had a very positive response to this, and are pleased that so many Members were able to come.”
AcademiaNet actively supports gender equality by providing a dedicated platform for female scientists. The aim is to improve the visibility of female researchers and create new opportunities for them. Our Club Meetings allow AcademiaNet scientists to get together, discuss issues that affect them and forge collaborations.