I stood for election to make a difference
by Dr Bev Mackenzie CSci CMarCsi
I will be the first to admit I have always been a ‘joiner’; always first with my hand up when an opportunity to volunteer comes along. However, as I have got older and my career has progressed and I have had to juggle work and life priorities I have learnt to become a little more selective over what I volunteer to do. I felt the next time I raised my hand up it needed to be for something I felt really strongly about and when the opportunity arose to potentially be on the Science Council Board it seemed to good an opportunity to pass by.
I have always felt scientists have the best job in world – we get to do something we love, every day but sometimes our profession gets a little bit of flack. That’s why I feel the Science Council is so important- it truly recognises the value of science as a profession – something I am passionate about.
The election – what did I have to do?
I was a bit nervous about standing for election to the Board- I felt I may be too young, too inexperienced, what on earth would I have to say at a meeting? But with the support of my colleagues and the Science Council staff what did I have to lose?
The process was really straightforward. All I needed to do was get a signed letter from my Chief Executive supporting my nomination, and complete a short online form stating the skills and knowledge that I would bring to the Board. That was it!
My first impressions of colleagues
At my very first meeting all concerns disappeared – I realised the Board needs a diversity of members in order to be able to achieve our vision. The Board strength lies within our differences embedded in our shared common goal. And of course, I realised everyone was an inexperienced Board member at some point. I had sat in many Board meetings at my own organisation but to support me in becoming am effective trustee I was able to attend a training day for trustees and given a full briefing from the Science Council – both hugely valuable and I’ve always felt I could simply ask other Board members if I felt a bit lost.
The Science Council is in a really exciting position. We have big ambitions and will potentially face some big challenges on the way to achieving them… but that’s what makes being a Board member at this time so exciting.
Dr Bev Mackenzie CSci CMarSci is Director of Technical & Policy at the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST).