Dame Athene Donald

Professor of experimental physics and master of Churchill College, Cambridge

Dame Athene Donald is Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge. After grammar school (Camden School for Girls) she studied for her first and second degrees at Girton College, Cambridge. Aside from four years’ postdoctoral experience at Cornell in the USA, it is the university where she has worked all her life. Her work has focused on ‘soft matter physics’, which she has explained as the physics ‘of things like cells and food, that a non-scientist would think of as “squishy”’.

She was made a professor in 1998, a dame in 2010 and she became Master of Churchill College in 2014. Professor Donald is a trustee of the Science Museum, has served as Cambridge University’s Gender Equality Champion and is active in promoting diversity in science.