Ivory Towers or Corporate Boardroom: Distinct Research Careers?

A distinguished panel discusses the question ...
Is the distinction between commercial
and non-commercial research careers a real one?

Trinity College Dublin
Walton LT, Arts Building
Thursday 8th September
17:30 -19:00 Followed by a networking buffet

Register now!

Join Science's Next Wave , Sense About Science and invited experts from the fields of industry, academia and government-funded research organisations for a stimulating discussion in line with this year's festival theme 'Setting the Agenda for Science.'
Our panel will outline their career paths, current roles and why they have chosen to work in their respective sectors and consider and debate the following questions:

  • Are you 'selling out' when you opt for a career in industrial research over academia?

  • Do industry careers involve you in more advanced well-funded science?

  • Is one more amenable to pure or applied research?

  • Is one more likely to lead to applications that are of benefit to society?

  • Or are these distinctions false and misleading?


17:30. Introduction Science's Next Wave / Sense about Science 17:45. Introductions by panel chair 18:00. Panel views on discussion topic 18:25. Qs & As and discussion 19:00. Networking buffet

Panel members

Professor Nancy Rothwell
Vice President of Research
University of Manchester
Professor Nancy Rothwell is Vice-President of Research at Manchester University. She currently holds a MRC Research Professorship and is a leading world expert in neuroscience focussing on stroke and brain injury. Nancy obtained a PhD and DSc in physiology from the University of London and her early research career was dedicated to investigating the mechanisms which underly obesity.
Professor Rothwell was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society in 2004 and is also the President of the British Neuroscience Association. Nancy is committed to public involvement in science and has a regular column in The Times Higher Education Supplement and makes frequent TV and radio appearances.

Dr. Ian Ragan
Director, CIR Consultancy
Dr Ian Ragan is Director of CIR Consultancy Ltd which advises the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He is currently Chair of the R&D Committee of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries and his prior roles include Executive Director of Neuroscience Research and also European Scientific Affairs for Eli Lilly and Co. Ian completed his postdoctoral research in Biochemistry at Cornell University and the State University of New York in Albany before an academic career at the University of Southampton. He embarked upon his first industrial post in 1986 when he joined the Merck Sharp and Dohme Neuroscience Research Centre in Harlow, UK.
He is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications to date and is very actively involved in the participation of the pharmaceutical industry in the European framework programmes of the European Commission.

Dr. Nicola Gray
Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice
University of Nottingham
Nicola J. Gray is a lecturer in pharmacy practice at the University of Nottingham. Gray completed a PhD in Health Information Sources before receiving a a Harkness Fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund, an opportunity she used to conduct a trans-Atlantic study on the use of Internet resources by adolescents for health and medicines information. A practicing community pharmacist, her other research and policy interests include health literacy, parents' use of children's medicines, direct-to-consumer advertising of medications, and improving access to medicines by extending prescribing rights.
Gray was the 1999 recipient of the Pharmaceutical Care Award of the Pharmaceutical Journal and Glaxo Wellcome UK for excellence in the development of pharmaceutical services. She has also served as a member of numerous pharmaceutical societies, steering groups, and associations, including the Council of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Dr. Seema Sharma
Science's Next Wave, Program Director

Ellen Raphael
Programme Manager, Sense About Science

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