Challenges & Changes in Physics

Dr Clara Barker

Dr Clara Barker discussed her research and the challenges that physics and physicists face, and shared some of her work to push for change.


Clara Michelle Barker is a British engineer and material scientist. In 2017 she received the Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister’s Office for her work that raises awareness of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender issues within the University community and beyond.

A thin film is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometre (monolayer) to several micrometres in thickness.

About this Event

In the second lecture of this new series from the Department of Physics, we hearwd from Dr Clara Barker [she/her], a thin-film material scientist who manages the Centre for Applied Superconductivity in the Materials Department at Oxford University. Clara is the Chair of the Oxford University LGBT+ advisory group and runs a youth group for LGBTI+ people, as well as giving many talks in schools and beyond in which she shares her story of being a trans scientist. In 2017 she won a Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for her outstanding volunteer work.

This was the second of a series of lectures this term hosted by Dr Alex Ramadan. It was held as a webinar on Zoom (see link below).

About the series

Who we are and the experiences we go through shape the way we see the world around us. As physicists, our experiences shape how we do our research and the problems we choose to tackle. It is important we have physicists with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds working on the answers to fundamental questions about the universe around us. Through this we will ensure we are tackling issues which go beyond one specific group of people or experiences and that we are ensuring an accurate view of the world around us. Without this we will not be able to achieve the ultimate goal of research in physics: understanding how the universe behaves.

The problem of a lack of diversity within the sciences and the scientific workforce is universal across the disciplines. In this lecture series we will be discussing some of the challenges we face in Physics to making our community more diverse, equitable and inclusive. We will be hearing from speakers from a wide range of backgrounds about what they think some of the challenges are, the work they have done and are doing to make real changes and how we can all do our part to build a better physics community.

This is a lecture series hosted by the Department of Physics but open to all: we welcome everyone to come and learn in a welcoming and inclusive environment, whether you are part of the department or not. Whilst the speakers will discuss their research in physics you do not need a high level of physics understanding to attend.


Online Events Online Seminars Online Science & Tech Seminars #equality #physics #equality_and_diversity #equality_inclusion #physics_education

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