Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Role Models Pave the Way for Women to Build STEM Careers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Role Models Pave the Way for Women to Build STEM Careers

Article excerpt

PART of the difficulty in recruiting enough young people including young women into STEM careers is that they do not understand the sheer range of paths on offer.

Dr Filippa Lentzos, 38, is a leading expert on bioterrorism, contributing to NATO and the UN Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva as well as teaching an MSc programme in the new Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine at King's College London.

Passionate about teaching the UK's next generation of global health policy makers and influencers, she regularly travels the globe and, as well as writing books, is also a mother of two young children.

"I followed what I was interested in," she says. "I did a degree in human sciences, which covers all aspects of biology, from physiology and anatomy to biochemistry and virology and microbiology.

"Towards the end of my degree, I became fascinated by the social implications and went on to study sociology.

"So, as you can see, science can be many different things and can move into the more social space, with scientists working on policy as well as in more political areas.

"For example, people like myself with a science background are looking at the implications of scientific developments from a political and social point of view, as well as an economic and ethical one. We have synthetic biology students engineering biological organisms into parts with increasing convergence between interdisciplinary students in engineering, biology and computer science.

"In our department, the whole premise is that health is more than a medical matter and there has never been a more relevant time for a career in global health and social science, studying its challenges and solutions. …

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