Interview of the Month: Daphnet (12/2016)

Every month, for you, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one Member Association.

Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here


Our Member for December is the UK Association Daphnet.



Daphnet’s Deputy Director, Dr. Yasmin Robson, will answer the EPWS questionnaire.

Contact this association:
Contact this Member:
Association website:


EPWS: If you wanted to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?

Daphnet is a mailing list for women in science and engineering, based in the United Kingdom (UK) but with members overseas.

EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?

Our mission is to provide a platform for the dissemination of information relating to women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This includes campaigning, and trying to influence the environment in which we live and work. This email forum raises awareness and allows for information flow across both institutional and grass root levels.

EPWS: What is the history of Daphnet in a few words?

Daphnet was set up by Director Pam Wain, Past President of Women’s Engineering Society (2003 -2005) and MentorSET champion, to provide an email network for communication among women scientists & engineers.

Daphnet’s Director and Past President of WES (2003-2005), Pam Wain

Daphnet is named after Daphne Jackson (1936-1991), the first female physics professor in the UK and former president of the Women’s Engineering Society (among many other prestigious posts). If you want to know more about Daphne Jackson Fellowships for scientists and engineers returning to work after a career break, check out the Daphne Jackson Trust:

EPWS: Could you explain the organization of your association?

– We have 450 members, across all fields of STEM, and from all ages and stages of their careers (including a few men). Women returning to work after a career break are particularly welcome.
– We are based in the UK — our news and events items tend to reflect this — but we have members across the world.
– Any member can send a message to the list, and it is distributed to everyone.
– We try to stick to topics that have a particular relevance to women.
– We occasionally publish requests for assistance — ranging from information needed by students to appeals for people to speak on radio programmes, at schools, or help at science festivals.
– Sometimes we get into discussions but rarely heated debate.
– We often advertise jobs, PhD studentships and Post-Doc posts, and frequently from outside the UK.
-Daphnet is kindly hosted by Imperial College London.

EPWS: What are its recent achievements?

– Circulated science-related events and conferences taking place at home and abroad, for instance the Oxford International Women’s Festival and the Dorothy Hodgkin Memorial Lecture which take place every March in Oxford to celebrate International Women’s Day.
– Advertised the European conferences on Gender Equality in Higher Education.
– Highlighted awards received by women scientists e.g Dr Brigitte Mühlenbruch (President of EPWS) honoured with the Order of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany. Also Prof. Claudine Hermann (Vice-President of EPWS) promoted to Grande officière of Légion d’Honneur in France.

Flyer for Oxford International Women’s Festival (OIWF) 2016


EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?

Reach a wider audience and increase European and worldwide participation.

EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?

Since June 2011 Daphnet’s Deputy Director, Dr. Yasmin Robson, was elected to the EPWS Board of Administration.

EPWS Board members at 9th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education at The Sorbonne in Paris (September 2016)

Other British EPWS members (including Women in Physics Group of IoP and Daphne Jackson Trust) also circulate information, events and Returner Fellowships on Daphnet.

There is further exchange of material between Daphnet and EPWS (website, Twitter and Linked-In) to disseminate information throughout Europe.

EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?

Other EPWS members could circulate STEM related information, events and jobs on Daphnet, allowing them to reach a wider audience. It would also raise awareness of what is being achieved in other countries.


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