In the news: Bridget Ogilvie

May 23, 2003

Dame Bridget Ogilvie has had her differences with the Royal Society. She resigned as chair of the Committee on Public Understanding of Science in 2002, accusing the society of fighting a new strategy for the science communication body. MPs hauled the society over the coals in response.

But Dame Bridget joined the society this week as one of 42 new fellows - and one of a record intake of nine female scientists. She was nominated for her leadership of medical research and life sciences.

After studying agriculture in Australia and taking her PhD at Cambridge University, Dame Bridget produced important research in parasitology in her 17 years at the National Institute for Medical Research. But it was her understanding of science and scientists that lifted her to prominence, especially in promoting the public understanding and appreciation of science. In 1991-98, she was director of the Wellcome Trust. She is now a visiting professor at University College London.

Dame Bridget laughed off past differences: "Institutions are more important than the people running them. I'd much rather belong to the Royal Society today than ten or 15 years ago. It is much more engaged with controversial issues."

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