The Linnean Society welcomes its very first CEO

An internationally recognised expert in the public engagement of science, Gail Cardew has spent the majority of her career supporting scientists to engage actively with society

Published on 15th March 2021

Dr Gail Cardew

Photo credit: Paul Wilkinson

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Gail Cardew as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Linnean Society of London. Gail comes to us at a crucial time for the Society, as we move forward with our Governance Review and as we address new challenges, not least our occupancy of Burlington House.

An internationally-recognised expert in the field of science and public engagement, Gail Cardew has spent the majority of her career supporting scientists to engage actively with society. Formerly Director of Science and Education at the Royal Institution, she transformed the organisation’s charitable programmes, led the development of a new purpose-driven strategy, and prioritised the building of external partnerships to increase impact. With a commercial mind-set, she also has a proven track record of income generation and fundraising.

She attributes her early interest in biology to her inspirational biology teachers. Thanks to them, she was introduced to the work of evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith and gained a place at the University of Sussex, where she went on to receive a First Class Honours degree in biology, DPhil and, most recently, an Honorary Doctor of Science for her leadership in connecting science, culture and society.

As Vice President of EuroScience and Senior Advisor to Science|Business, she has played a key role in highlighting the importance of science, policy and society issues throughout Europe and beyond. Her current interests in this regard include the importance of diversity and inclusion, as well as how geopolitics affects the ability of scientists to collaborate on issues of global concern, such as climate change and the pandemic.

She is Emeritus Professor of Science, Culture and Society at the Royal Institution, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an Alumna of the US International Leadership Programme for emerging global cultural leaders.

Gail brings a wealth of experience and inspirational leadership to the Society and we are delighted she will be joining us from mid-April. We look forward to working with her.