Dr Jessica Wade

Scientist, wikipedian and campaigner for gender inclusion in science

Jess is an excitable scientist with an enthusiasm for equality. She has been involved in several projects to improve gender inclusion in science, as well as encouraging more young people to study science and engineering. Jess won the Institute of Physics (IOP) Early Career Communicator Prize (2015), “I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!” (2015), the IOP Jocelyn Bell Burnell Award (2016), the Institution of Materials, Mineral and Mining’s ‘Robert Perrin Award’ (2017), the Imperial College Dame Julia Higgins Certificate (2017) and the IOP Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize (2018). Jess sits on the committees of the IOP’s Women in Physics Group, Physics Communicators Group and London & South East Branch. She is on the Council of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Young Women’s Board. In 2017, Jess was the UK representative on a US State Department International Visitor Leadership Program, travelling across America for a month looking at initiatives to recruit and retain women in ‘STEM’. Jess co-led the UK Team at the 2017 International Conference for Women in Physics. She is a keen Wikipedian, and is helping to upload the biographies of women, LGBTQ+ and POC scientists – creating one every day in 2018.

Jess works on organic light emitting diodes that emit circularly polarised light. To achieve this, she creates chiral nanostructures out of carbon-based materials. Our world and our bodies are full of “chiral” systems. Understanding how to create and control left and right-handed systems will transform drug discovery, cryptography, the diagnosis of diseases and even our televisions.

If you could change one thing about the world through your work, what would it be?

I would pay teachers as much as we pay bankers!

Favourite TED Talk:

Elizabeth Stokoe
The science of analyzing conversations, second by second

Meet the TEDxLondonWomen speakers

Dr Jessica Wade

Scientist, wikipedian and campaigner for gender inclusion in science

Lady Unchained

Poet, Storyteller and advocate for life after prison

Sofie Hagen

Stand-up comedian, author, podcaster and fat activist

Ben Hurst

Campaigner against toxic masculinity

Josie Young

Feminist AI Researcher

Dr Clara Barker

Material scientist and vocal LGBTQI+ campaigner

Amelia Abraham

Journalist, writer and LGBTQ+ culture and politics commentator

Baroness Lola Young

Member of the House of Lords and campaigner against modern day slavery

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Founder of Living Space Project, writer and city and urban place strategist

Dr Alice Bunn

International Director at the UK Space Agency