What IOP has Learned from its International Programmes

Professor Paul Hardaker, FInstP, FRMetS, CMet 
Chief Executive
Institute of Physics    

"What IOP has Learned from its International Programmes"

Abstract: Science is a global endeavour, whatever our national political landscapes, and if professional and learned societies are to remain relevant to their membership they also have to have a global perspective. With relatively little resource even smaller societies can have an international impact if they are able to leverage volunteer effort, whether that is by giving grants to help members, particularly in early career, to build international networks, enabling members in other countries to form strong working partnerships with national societies, or to embark on capacity building activities. Whether for economic, moral or scientific reasons, or a combination of all three, by working together societies can build more sustainable, scalable programmes that enable those in-country to affect real long-term development. There are several existing frameworks through which organisations can collaborate and their efficacy very much depends on the nature of the programmes being delivered. What is clear is one size does not fit all and it is key for the future to understand whether these frameworks remain relevant and help us to focus on the priority activities in a way that engages all the stakeholders (funders and those involved in the delivery) in a meaningful way.

Biograhy: Paul Hardaker is currently Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics, the UK’s Professional and Learned Society for Physics.  He is also Chairman of Sense about Science, a charity that campaigns for better reporting of science in the media, and a Visiting Professor in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Reading.

Paul is a mathematician by background whose early research work focused on modelling and instrument studies in radio propagation, working with organisations such as British Telecom, the European Space Agency and the Rutherford-Appleton Labs.  He later moved to the Met Office where he spent 14 years in a variety of roles including heading up an international consultancy on hydrometeorology, and the Remote Sensing and Observations Branches.  He then became Programme Director for the Met Office's Development Programmes and latterly the Met Office’s Chief Advisor to Government, providing support to the Government in areas such as climate change policy and the civil contingency programme.

Following his time at the Met Office, and before taking over at the Institute of Physics, Paul was the Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society (the Learned and Professional Society for weather and climate).  Whilst in that role he was a member of the Board of the Society for the Environment, the Science Steering Group for the UK’s Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme, and the Advisory Board for e-Research South.  He was also a member of the Standards Quality Council for the qualifications awarding body PAA\VQSET, and for many years has been a reviewer for the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education.

Paul has led the UK delegation to several UN and EU technical committees on meteorology, he has been a member of the Physics Advisor Panel at the University of Wales, one of the Government’s Science and Society Champions, Chairman of one of the UK’s national e-Science projects, and the founding editor of the international journal Atmospheric Science Letters (ASL).  Paul has also been the Interim General Manager for EcoConnect, a joint-venture between the UK and New Zealand Governments to provide environmental services across the globe, and for 3 years, a Non-Executive Director and Chief Scientist of a City company working in risk management.  He was the Chairman of the UK Research Council’s programme on the Flood Risk from Extreme Events (FREE) and for eleven years, until 2009, held a visiting professorship at the University of Salford.  Paul is a past Board member of the Science Council, a federal body representing the profession of science in the UK, and for five years was also a Non-Executive Director and latterly Deputy Chairman of the Board of NHS Berkshire West, one of the UK’s Primary Healthcare Trusts.