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Reports and publications

Royal Society and the Technician Commitment

03 February 2021

The Royal Society is a formal supporter of the Technician Commitment initiative.

The Technician Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines. We are a strong advocate of these values. Here are some of the ways we are meeting them:

Visibility

We have been actively raising the profile and awareness of technical roles through our policy work including representations to the UK government and Parliament and by having a technical representative on our Research System Community of Interest. 

Recognition

Technicians can be listed as authors or contributors in publications in all our journals. They can also act as co-reviewers.

Marking the Society’s 350th anniversary in 2010, we recognised and rewarded excellence in supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the UK with the Hauksbee Award. Four technicians were among the winners. 

The Royal Society’s journal of the history of science, Notes and Records, contains a special issue on Technicians. It includes articles on the invisible technicians in the industrial revolution and technicians in mid-twentieth-century British medical research.

Career development 

Technicians can be nominated or apply for a number of Royal Society awards such as the Athena Prize which recognises teams who have contributed to the advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the David Attenborough Award which rewards individuals for outstanding public engagement with science. Find out more about our awards here

Sustainability

We continue to advocate for technical roles in our policy work such as in our work with the other National Academies on the future immigration system.

Professor Dame Athene Donald FRS, Chair of the Society's Research System Community of Interest, is represented on the Midlands Innovation TALENT Policy Commission, a project which aims to lead and influence change to advance status and opportunity for technical skills, roles and careers in UK Higher Education. 

We have committed to produce an action plan by the end of 2021.

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