Board and Committees

Science Council Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall leadership of the Science Council, and in partnership with the charity’s constituent Members setting its values, standards, aims and objectives and delivering them in line with the objects of the Royal Charter. The Board is responsible for ensuring that the Science Council functions within the legal, regulatory and financial requirements of a registered charity. It consists of a Chair (who is a trustee), between 8 and 12 Elected Trustees and up to 3 Appointed Trustees. Currently there are 10 Elected Trustees, the Chair, and no Appointed Trustees.

The Board can also co-opt members to fill up to two elected trustee vacancies that may arise between General Meetings. Elected Trustees are elected by Member Bodies to serve in this capacity as individuals and not as representatives of organisations, interest groups or sectors. Elected Trustees serve a four-year term with one quarter of elected trustees retiring each year.

Download the trustees’ role description.

Download the Schedule of matters reserved to the Board.

Dr Helen Pain CSci CChem (Chair of the Board) (2018-2021)

Helen is Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She joined the Royal Society of Chemistry after completing a degree and PhD in Chemistry at Exeter University. She has several years’ experience working at senior board level, being appointed to Director of Membership in 2011, Executive Director of Membership, Operations and Organisational Design in 2012, before becoming Deputy CEO in 2015. Her core strength is in building effective relationships with members and Trustees.

She has many years of experience working with Boards and Committees and ensuring the RSC’s Charter objects are delivered. She has a strong belief in organisations remaining focused on their core purpose and in ensuring effective strategies and business models are in place in order that organisations remain relevant and sustainable. She is a champion for inclusion and diversity and committed to establishing efficient and effective governance practices. Download the Chair's role description.

Adam Donnan (2017-2021)

Adam has worked for the IES in various roles since 2006. In 2013 he was made the organisation's first CEO. Adam is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Chartered Environmentalist.  Between July 2014 and March 2015, he was the Interim CEO of the Society for the Environment, an umbrella body for registration, bringing together 24 professional institutes. He has held board positions as Vice President of the European Network of Environmental Professionals (ENEP) and was a non-Executive Director of Change Agents UK (2011-16). He was the 2014 Young Leader of the Year at the Association Awards UK. He holds an MBA and a BA in History, and has a passion for long-distance running.

Mark Finnie (Honorary Treasurer) (2018-2022)

Mark is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is Executive Head of Finance at the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). As a member of the senior management team he participates in setting the strategic direction for the organisation and making sure a sustainable business model is in place. He supports the trustees to make sure there are suitable governance arrangements and financial controls in place.

He started his career with a number of finance roles in the NHS. He then moved into the charity sector to work with an organisation involved in skills development in the engineering sector. He was Head of Finance at a trade body for UK residential mortgage lenders before moving to the IBMS.

He has been the Science Council's Honorary Treasurer since June 2019. Download the Honorary Treasurer's role description.

Jonathan Gorvin (2017-2021)

Jonathan has worked in professional bodies for over ten years and has gained policy and development experience in over 20 countries. He is currently Director of Policy - The Profession at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), having previously held the position of Head of Regulatory Policy and Development. Jonathan was previously Head of Regulatory Affairs at the Press Recognition Panel, where, following the Leveson Inquiry, he developed the regulatory framework for recognising and monitoring press self-regulators. He has previously worked at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Ruth Kaufman (2018-2022)

Portrait of Ruth KaufmanRuth Kaufman is a Companion of OR (Operational Research) and a former president of the OR Society. She graduated with a BA in Maths (as a Social Science) from the University of Sussex in 1974, and worked in OR and other management functions in London Transport and London Electricity before joining the Department of Health as a Principal OR Analyst. She moved on to lead the OR Group at the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), and was Chair of the Government OR Service for two years. Before retiring from government in 2008, she was a member of ECGD’s Executive Board, as Head of Strategy, Change and OR. Ruth was a co-founder of the Pro Bono OR initiative where she continues to play a leading role. She is a trustee of Humanists UK and also currently Chair of the EURO Working Group on Practice of OR, adviser to the Finance Committee of the National Federation of Women's Institutes, and undertakes a variety of other activities including freelance consulting. She was awarded an OBE for “Services to Operational Research” in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Patrick Kniveton, Vice Chair (2017-2020)

Patrick KnivetonPatrick has significant experience of leadership in the professional body sector. He is a Past President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), chairing its Board of Trustees, Council and Nominations Committee. He has been a Chartered Engineer since 1985, became one of the very first Chartered Managers in 2003 and was made a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute in 2014. Patrick worked for Rolls-Royce between 1989 and 2016 in a number of roles, most recently as Head of Engineering Skills at Rolls-Royce Submarines, where he directed the resourcing and development of the competence of some 1500+ engineers, scientists, technicians and apprentices. In 2015, he led an initiative, which continues to flourish, to develop women scientists and engineers in Rolls-Royce Nuclear with the skills and behaviours required to develop their careers. He was named in the Debrett’s / Sunday Times 500 most influential People of Today in the top 20 Engineers section for three years – 2014-2016. Patrick is a Visiting Professor in Engineering at the University of Derby, and chaired its Industrial Advisory Board for three years. He continues to give talks on a wide range of topics including science and engineering careers, employer skill needs, ethical competitive advantage, and 21st century leadership and management styles. He has just been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professorship.

Rachel Lambert-Forsyth (2019-2023)

Rachel Lambert-ForsythRachel Lambert-Forsyth has 10+ years’ experience working in the professional body sector, is an elected Chartered Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (CBiol FRSB) and Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and has experience at Board Level as Trustee of the Royal College of Nursing Foundation and as a Governor of 2 Good Lower schools in Bedfordshire. Having graduated from the University of Plymouth with a BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology followed by a MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management, she moved to London and started work at the Royal Society of Biology in an entry level office role but rose quickly through the ranks and is now the Director of Membership and Professional Affairs with a remit for membership recruitment and retention, professional development and training, accreditation, and national and regional events. In previous roles she has led education policy and outreach initiatives, including advising the government on the 2012 National Curriculum review and more recently appointed as a Panel member of the Technical Level (T-Level) Panel in healthcare science. Rachel manages a large team and works with the Chief Executive and Trustees to ensure good governance of the Royal Society of Biology.

Dr Pantea Lotfian (2017-2020)

Pantea has experience both as an executive and non-executive director, combining strategic leadership with a strong practical understanding of the challenges that businesses face today. She has an extensive background in innovation and strategy consulting in a verity of industries, including manufacturing, engineering, chemicals, energy, FMCG and pharmaceuticals. She is the Founder and Director of Camrosh Ltd, which builds strategic foresight practices that enable corporations and organisations to take informed action to gain access to emerging technologies and identify and expand into new markets. She is currently member of the board at Ridgeway Information and served for over five years at the board of Pepal Ltd. In addition, she has extensive coaching and mentoring experience working with startups and SMEs. She is committed to promoting entrepreneurship and supporting individuals and businesses in their efforts to succeed and make an impact. Pantea has a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from UCL and an Mphil in Technology Policy from Judge Business School.

Dr Arthur Nicholas (2018-2022)

Portrait of Arthur NicholasArthur has a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in the effective delivery of research, teaching and professional support services in the UK's Higher Education Institution (HEI) sector.  This has been attained during a long career as a professional Scientist and Management Practitioner at the University of Manchester, including a term as an elected member of the University’s General Assembly. A chartered member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH); Arthur has worked with colleagues across the HEI sector in developing the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) H&S guidance for student placements and acted as a Regional Network Co-ordinator for the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA). Arthur has well established, productive working relationships within a number of professional bodies including the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), Institute of Science and Technology (IST) and University Bioscience Managers’ Association (UBMA).  He has held the posts of Treasurer and Chair for UBMA and acted as Regional Network Co-ordinator for HEaTED.  Working with these professional bodies, Arthur has actively contributed to shaping best practice and achieving, HEI sector wide, advances; notably in enhancing the professionalism, employability and career progression prospects of technical staff and in the development of safe & sustainable laboratories.

Simon Toms (2017-2021)

Simon is a partner at international law firm Allen & Overy LLP, which he joined in 2001. He has extensive experience in advising boards, companies and non-profit organisations on governance matters, including compliance with the Companies Act, internal policies and procedures, risk mitigation and reporting, advice on the UK Listing Rules and other regulations. His practice also involves advising clients on a wide range of cross-border public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and equity capital markets transactions. Simon is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Affairs group and has served as a trustee or board member of a number of non-profit organisations.

Joan Ward (2018-2022)

Joan Ward portraitJoan is a Fellow of the Institute of Science & Technology (IST) and currently operates as their Finance Officer and Deputy Chair. The IST is one of the Science Council’s Member Bodies, licenced to award registration at RSciTech, RSci and CSci levels. She is involved in developing strategy for the Institute, controlling finance and administration functions and acts as an external representative for them. Prior to taking up her role with the IST, Joan’s career was spent in Higher Education at the University of Manchester. She joined them from school as a Junior Technician and spent 32 years with them, finally leading technical services at school/faculty level, and latterly managing the school/faculty finance and extensive research grants portfolio. She is committed to the development of career opportunities for technical staff and is passionate about initiatives that enhance the professionalisation of the technical workforce. Having spent most of her professional career working within the technical community, she is keen to champion professional registration across this often-undervalued workgroup to help them to gain the recognition that their expertise and skills deserve. Joan holds a BA and MBA and has recently been invited to sit on the Board of Trustees for the new National Technician Development Centre.

Upcoming Board Meetings

  • Tuesday 30th June 2020
  • Thursday 17th September 2020
  • Thursday 10th December 2020

The Science Council Board of Trustees delegates various functions to its three sub-committees:

Registration Authority

The Registration Authority advises the Science Council Board on matters relating to the four professional registers and is responsible for upholding the registration standards. Members of the Registration Authority are employees or volunteers from Licensed Bodies who have expertise in registration and licensing standards and practice. All members are appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Chair of the Registration Authority attends Board meetings in their capacity as Chair of the Committee.

  • Dr Hilary Jeffreys CSci (Chair of the Registration Authority)
  • Dr Samantha Cooper CBiol
  • Pete Barratt CSci
  • Kevin Bown CSci
  • Richard Needham CSciTeach
  • Dr Jason Owen CSci
  • Jocelyn Price CSci
  • Prof. Neville Punchard CBiol
  • Dr Glynn Skerratt CSci
  • Joan Ward

Observers from the Engineering Council and Society for the Environment are invited to attend Registration Authority meetings.

Download the Registration Authority’s Terms of Reference.

Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

The Finance, Audit & Risk (FAR) Committee helps the Science Council Board meet its responsibilities with regard to financial systems and controls including regulatory and statutory compliance and risk management. The Committee is composed of trustees, who may be independent members, and non-trustee independent members. Non-trustee independent members are appointed by the Board and have recent, relevant financial and/or accounting expertise. The Chair of the FAR Committee is an independent member and attends Board meetings in their capacity as Chair of the Committee.

  • Nick Whitaker (Independent Chair)
  • Ian Bong (Independent member)
  • Mark Finnie (Trustee and Honorary Treasurer)
  • Ruth Kaufman (Trustee)
  • Dr Arthur Nicholas (Trustee)
  • Professor Ray Kemp (Independent member)
  • Professor Patrick Kniveton (Trustee)
  • Dr Chris Westcott (Independent member)

Download the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee provides, develops and maintains formal, rigorous and transparent procedures for Board and other key appointments. All Committee members are trustees of the Board.

  • Simon Toms (Chair)
  • Dr Pantea Lotfian
  • Professor Patrick Kniveton
  • Rachel Lambert-Forsyth

Download the Nominations Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Interested in volunteering with us?

If you have an interest in a particular governance area and would like to explore current vacancies, please visit our vacancies page or contact Oli O’Hanlon.