Lessons Learned From Working in STEM with a Physical Disability - Dr Claire Malone

Physics West 117
Wednesday 30 November 2022 (13:30-14:30)

In this talk, I draw from personal experience of completing a PhD in High Energy Physics to illustrate some of the major challenge facing people with physical disabilities in academia. I draw analogies between the community of scientists with disabilities and other minority groups in STEM. I discuss strategies that Universities should adopt to support students with disabilities as well as organizations that exist to aid access to STEM for this community from the beginning of their education.

This event is open to all staff and students from all areas of the University of Birmingham

About Dr. Claire Malone

My passion to understand the world around me has led me to complete a PhD as part of the high energy physics group at the University of Cambridge. The root of my research interests was in understanding the behaviour of the fundamental particles that comprise our universe. My research focused on analysing data from the LHC at CERN, to complete our understanding of the universe in terms of its basic building blocks.

Throughout my higher education, I observed first hand how enriching two-way communication is between scientists and the public, as well as the importance of this dialogue for the advancement of society. It is evident to me that helping people access scientific knowledge empowers them to make decisions that affect their everyday lives. It it this drive that motivates me to reach out and engage with people about complex scientific topics in an accessible manner.

I have always had to devise bespoke techniques of studying to negotiate the fact that I cannot use a pen or lab equipment directly due to my physical disability, cerebral palsy. This included performing laboratory experiments by giving detailed instructions to assistants, and writing mathematical equations by controlling the computer with my eyes. I am therefore passionate about broadening the range of avenues available to everyone to access scientific education.

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