An RVC academic is being featured in a Royal Society project about diversity in British science.
The “Inspiring Scientists – Diversity in British Science” project, initiated by the Royal Society in partnership with the British Library, aims to encourage young people from all backgrounds to consider scientific careers.
The project has recorded the life stories of 10 British scientists with minority ethnic heritage, covering issues such as being a minority in science, influences in childhood, and the fun and importance of science both to themselves and to the wider community.
Those interviewed spanned academia, large companies and individual entrepreneurship, with scientists working across a range of disciplines from space science to food science.
The RVC scientist featured is Donald Palmer, course director of the BSc in bioveterinary science and senior lecturer in immunology. A short video clip of Dr Palmer speaking about diversity at the RVC and his love of science can be viewed here.
In the footage Dr Palmer says: “My background has not been a disadvantage in terms of my progression, because what you have to remember about science is it is a international sort of language in itself. When you go to conferences you’ll see people of a wide variety of backgrounds.”
He also said: “The perception of a veterinary college may be one of a particular sort of group of people, but you could be far mistaken. We’ve got people from a wide variety of backgrounds as academics as well as students.”
The scientists interviewed for the project described little or no evidence of direct or indirect racism in the British scientific workplaces they worked within.
However, many of them also said they had not regarded science as an obvious, “normal” or easy career choice for someone of their ethnic background.
Over the coming months the Royal Society will host events around the theme of diversity in British science.