'Superdigit' mathematical calculator: in 1741, Robert Flower submitted this design for an abacus-like mathematical instrument for publication in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. It was not published!

I have been a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) for over twenty years, and have been involved in a variety of ways in its activities and governance.  Currently there are two initiatives I'm particularly active in.


Diversity is a key strand of the Society's policy activity.  The aim is to address diversity issues in science at every level, from the early years at school to the careers of scientific researchers and leaders.  I have had a long-term interest in diversity in science and serve on the Society's Diversity Committee.  Details of the Society's work in many aspects of diversity can be found here

Science and the Law

The science and the law programme brings together scientists and members of the judiciary to discuss and debate key areas of common interest and to ensure the best scientific guidance is available to the courts. In addition to informal seminars involving senior scientists and lawyers on a wide range of relevant topics, the programme is sponsoring a series of judicial primers, an initiative recommended in my 2011 Home Office report on Research in Forensic Science.  The primers present an easily understood and accurate position on the scientific topic in question; they also consider the limitations of the science, any challenges associated with its application, and an explanation of how the scientific area is used within the judicial system.