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Royal Society Athena Prize

Women in Mathematics Committee, London Mathematical Society

Athena Prize Winner 2016

The London Mathematical Society has been awarded the Royal Society Athena Prize for their Women in Mathematics Committee. Introducing a broad range of initiatives in the field of mathematics resulted in a change of culture that has happened nationwide, leading the way in increasing the number of women in mathematics.

The inaugural Royal Society Athena Prize, which celebrates individuals and organisations who have contributed most to the advancement of diversity in STEM within their communities, was awarded during a ceremony at the Royal Society’s annual diversity conference on 31 October.

Read more about the initiative from the women who led it on our In Verba blog.

Five runners up also received awards at the ceremony:

  • Professor Valerie Gibson for her impact on the culture at the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge and at CERN in becoming more accepting of life beyond work and in the introduction of a child policy
  • Dr Mateja Jamnik for founding women@CL an initiative targeted at computer science which has started to change the culture in computing departments nationwide
  • Dr June McCombie, MBE, FInstP, FRSC, FRAS for being the key instigator and first Chair of the Institute of Physics’ Juno Programme
  • The Photonics & Instrumentation Research Centre, City University of London, for acting as a role model for inclusiveness by promoting good practice and addressing cultural barriers both nationally and internationally
  • Professor Paul Howard Walton for making an impact through promoting evidence based thinking in equality and as a prominent spokesperson for equality in academia

The Award

The Royal Society is committed to promoting and increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A diverse and inclusive scientific workforce draws from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences thereby maximising innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity. Our work on diversity in science includes addressing barriers to participation and success and actions to support and inspire change. This prize aims to inspire innovation and leadership in STEM diversity issues.

The Royal Society Athena Prize was established in 2016 and is provided by a gift to the Society.

The Royal Society Athena Prize is awarded biennially (in even years) for individuals or teams, working in UK academic and research communities, who have contributed most to the advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within their communities. The recipient/s of the prize receives a medal and a gift of £5,000 and runners-up will receive a gift of £1,000. 

The prizes are presented at the Royal Society’s annual diversity conference, where the recipient/s are invited to talk about their project.