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Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock to deliver the Rosalind Franklin Lecture 2022

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist, science educator and presenter of the Sky at Night, has been announced as the 2022 Rosalind Franklin Lecturer and medallist. The online event will be held on Thursday 10 March.

With her characteristic enthusiasm and talent for simplifying complex ideas, Maggie will take attendees on a journey from 1970s inner London to the edge of the universe, culminating in discussion with award-winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, Rosalind Franklin Lecture series chair.

First hosted by Humanists UK in 2016, the Rosalind Franklin Lecture has fully established itself as a key part of the Humanists UK calendar. The lecture is timed to mark International Women’s Day, and is named after Rosalind Franklin, the pioneering chemist who was so crucial to the discovery of the unique double helix structure of DNA.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said:

‘Rosalind Franklin Lecturers past have spoken on vaccinology, psychology, and the interaction of science and public policy, with the inaugural Rosalind Franklin Lecture touching on the life of Rosalind Franklin herself. We’re delighted that Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock will be the first space scientist to deliver this prestigious lecture, and to receive the Rosalind Franklin Lecture medal.’

Tickets are £7, and you can get yours at


Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist and science educator, perhaps best known for presenting BBC One’s The Sky at Night since 2014. She received an MBE in 2009 for services to science and science education, and Vodafone’s 2019 Woman of the Year Innovation Award. In 2020, she won the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics, and since September 2021, is President of the British Science Association.

Samira Ahmed is a multi-award winning journalist and broadcaster with a special focus on culture, politics, and social change. She won Audio Broadcaster of the Year at the 2020 British Press Guild Awards for her work as a presenter of Front Row on BBC Radio 4 and her podcast How I Found My Voice.

Marking International Women’s Day, the Rosalind Franklin Lecture explores and celebrates the contribution of women towards the promotion and advancement of aspects of humanism in the UK and around the world. The Rosalind Franklin medallist has made a significant contribution in one of these fields.

The lecture and medal are named after Rosalind Franklin, humanist and scientist, whose contribution to science for many years went unacknowledged on account of her sex but who is today rightly celebrated.

For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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