The British Science Association bids farewell to CEO Sir Roland Jackson by Carina Brehony & Eloise Aston 19th March 2013
L-R: Peter Hatfield, Eloise Aston,
Carina Brehony, Cara Lewis
On March 5th the British Science Association hosted a farewell party for its departing CEO, Sir Roland Jackson, in the distinguished surroundings of the Royal Society. Those in attendance included volunteers from branches across the country (including the Oxfordshire branch), honorary fellows, and current and past presidents and chairs. There was a strong University of Oxford connection, with illustrious names in attendance such as Lord May of Oxford and Lord Krebs, both of whom have been associated with the Department of Zoology in Oxford for many years; incoming CEO Imran Khan is a 2006 graduate of the Oxford Biology course.
BSA President Lord Krebs, Chair Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow and former Vice President Colin Johnson spoke. Johnson joked by way of introducing Sir Roland, “'You know that running a not-for-profit organisation is tough when even the Pope decides to quit'”. Jackson was quick to reply that he wasn’t aware the Catholic Church was not-for-profit!
Sir Roland thanked all those who came on the night and those who made his work and the BSA possible during his tenure, expressing particular thanks for volunteers all over the country. He took over the post in September 2002, before which he was acting head of the Science Museum, and in these 10 years a great deal has changed including the rise of social media, the proliferation of science festivals and the increasing emphasis on science communication to the public.
He will continue to work for Sciencewise, the national centre for public dialogue in policy-making involving science and technology issues, and will be a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institution. He also plans to do more mountaineering and write a biography of the great Irish physicist and Fellow of the Royal Society, John Tyndall: Sir Roland joked that Lord Krebs’s estimate of six months to write the book may be a slight underestimate!
Imran Khan will take over as CEO on April 2nd.
Sir Roland reflects on his decade at the helm here