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Power for Change

Nominations are now open for this year’s celebration of the heroes of analytical science – the Power List. After last year’s focus on up-and-coming researchers – the Top 40 Under 40 – for 2019 we’re returning to the full Top 100. The brief is simple: nominate the world’s most influential analytical scientists – across all application areas and technologies. Submitting nominations is easy – just visit and propose as many names as you like for consideration.

While you are considering the worthiest candidates, I do have a favor to ask: though merit must, of course, be taken into account, please don’t forget to at least acknowledge the issue of diversity.

The concept of meritocracy, a term coined by Michael Young (a British egalitarian who later became entirely disillusioned with the idea), is now regarded by many as a myth. Cultural, social and educational opportunities must be taken into account if we are to talk about individual achievements.

As in many scientific fields, the upper echelons of industry or academia in chemistry (and consequently our own power list) remain disproportionally white and male (1). Most of us would like to see greater diversity, and as Laurie Locascio pointed out in our In My View section, that requires all of us to take positive steps to make sure the achievements of underrepresented groups are recognized and their voices heard (2).

Visible role models are an important part of encouraging a diverse workforce, as Locascio notes, “When members of under-represented groups see people like themselves in top positions in government, industry, and academia, they believe that they, too, can succeed as leaders.”

To see the positive effects of a more diverse workforce, an immeasurable number of small steps must be made. One of those steps might just be taking diversity into account when nominating an esteemed colleague to our 2019 Power List.

Charlotte Barker


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About the Author
Charlotte Barker

Associate Content Director

After studying biology at Imperial College London, I got my start in biomedical publishing as a commissioning editor for healthcare journals, and I’ve spent my career covering everything from early-stage research to clinical medicine. Attracted by the creativity, talent and passion of the team, I joined Texere Publishing in 2014, where I’m now Associate Content Director and Editor of The Cannabis Scientist.

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