We realise that gold means only one thing to most people at the moment (and believe you me Chemistry World towers has been as gripped by the Olympics as everyone else) but we also need to congratulate the University of Edinburgh’s school of chemistry for getting a gold Athena SWAN Charter award. That’s the UK’s top accolade for good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in science, engineering, technology, maths and medicine in higher education. Only two departments in the country have been judged to be gold standard: Edinburgh’s chemistry department and the University of York’s chemistry department (yay chemistry, etc).
This is especially relevant as Lesley Yellowlees, of the University of Edinburgh, begins her term as RSC President, pledging to identify and remove the barriers that prevent women from staying in chemistry. Hopefully more chemistry departments (as well as those in other disciplines) can rise up the ranks. And then, maybe one day, these sorts of awards won’t be needed at all.