Launch Event

It is with sadness that we have taken the decision to postpone the launch event of the Society for Natural Sciences planned to take place at The Francis Crick Institute in London on Tuesday 17th March. In the light of the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 this is the only sensible course of action for the health and safety of our members and invited guests. This pandemic throws into sharp relief the importance of interdisciplinary scientific approaches to global problems. We hope to reschedule the event and look forward to working with all our members to support  interdisciplinary science and scientists now and in the future.

17 March 2020 at The Francis Crick Institute  (By invitation only)

There is a growing recognition of the value of interdisciplinarity in scientific research and teaching with many new degree programmes having been started in recent years. The mission of the newly formed Society for Natural Sciences is to promote and support interdisciplinary education in science, particularly at first degree level, with the aim of increasing participation in science both for its cultural value and for its economic benefits. The Society recognises the important contribution of interdisciplinary approaches to socio-economic problems and aims to be a professional body for graduates in interdisciplinary roles.

The founding member university representatives of the Society for Natural Sciences.

We will update as we know more about the staged process of dealing with the current national crisis.

For information – The planned programme for the event is:

4.00-4.30 Arrival and Tea

4.30-6.00 Introduction to the Society and Invited Talks  

6.00-7.00 Reception

The event will be streamed to the founding member institutions with live updates on Twitter #LaunchSocNatSci

Confirmed speakers are

Sir Peter Williams, CBE, FREng, FRS

Sir Peter Williams first made his mark as a young academic in semiconductor physics before making the successful transition into industry, as Chief Executive, then chairman, of Oxford Instruments.

Dr Sonia Contera

Professor Sonia Contera is a biological physicist and an atomic force microsocopist. She chairs the Royal Microscopical Society AFM and scanning probe section.  Her book Nano comes to Life, published by Princeton University in November, describes how the future will bring about the continued fusion of nano-technology with biology, physics, and AI. 

Professor Nora de Leeuw FRSC CChem MAE FLSW

Executive dean in the newly formed Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Leeds University. She is interested in computational models of energy materials, biomaterials and minerals.

The speakers will be introduced by the Chair of the Society for Natural Sciences, Dr Nicola King. Dr King is the Director of Studies for Natural Sciences at the University of Exeter. She is a chemist whose interests focus on science education and pedagogy. Dr King emphasises that,

Many of the challenges facing society today, such as climate chance, sustainability of energy and material resources, population, security and technological advancement, are interdisciplinary. Natural Scientists are in the vanguard of scientists who can cross disciplines to tackle these problems and contribute to a better life for all. The mission of the Society for Natural Sciences is to raise awareness of the value and importance of taking an interdisciplinary approach to scientific and societal problems. We work to strengthen and advance education in interdisciplinary sciences to create the next generation of scientists to meet these challenges.”

The talks will conclude with a presentation on a vision for the Society and the development of an interdisciplinary approach to science education by Professor Derek Raine. Professor Raine, MBE is Professor (Emeritus) and former director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science at the University of Leicester. He is a mathematical physicist with interests in pedagogical research and development. Professor Raine talks about the unity of the sciences and the way in which areas of interdisciplinarity provide important issues that can engage young people in science. He also emphasises the essentially interdisciplinary nature of the current zeitgeist of sustainability.

Founding Institutional members of the Society are:

Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Durham, East Anglia (UEA), Exeter, Keele, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Open University, Southampton, York and University College London (UCL)

Society for Natural Sciences, Registered Charity No. 1181964