The British Science Association (BSA) has today (Wednesday 8 December) announced that its current Chief Executive, Katherine Mathieson, will leave in spring 2022 after more than 12 years in leadership positions within the organisation.

Katherine joined the BSA in 2009, as Director of Education and then Director of Programmes, before being appointed Chief Executive in 2016. She will be joining the Royal Institution, as its new Director, in spring 2022.

Since taking on the role of Chief Executive of the British Science Association five years ago, Katherine has led the organisation through significant changes. She has been instrumental in championing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the BSA, having overseen the overhaul of the BSA’s internal practices and policies on issues related to EDI, and has led the expansion of our community engagement work across the UK.

Katherine also played a pivotal role in establishing The Ideas Fund which was launched last year. Recognising the need for a different approach to science engagement to achieve the BSA's vision, the Fund provides grants using a participatory and equitable approach enabling communities to take the lead in engaging with researchers.

The BSA’s Chair of Trustees, Gisela Abbam, said:

“On behalf of the BSA’s Council I would like to thank Katherine for her outstanding contribution to the British Science Association. Under her leadership, the BSA has sharpened its focus on engaging audiences who are underrepresented in science; developed a more participatory approach to programme design and grant-making; and started a journey of organisational, and sector-leading, change around equality, diversity and inclusion.

“She has steered the team brilliantly through the pandemic to deliver an exceptional range of achievements in challenging circumstances, and developed an exciting new strategy for 2021-24.

“We will greatly miss Katherine’s ideas and energy, and her commitment to our mission and vision, but wish her very well in her new role. Council will soon be commencing the search for her replacement. It is an exciting time to be joining the BSA as we embark on delivering our 10-year objectives and goal – of ensuring that science becomes more relevant, representative and connected to society – as we approach the organisation’s bicentenary in 2031.”

The BSA will soon be entering its second year of its new strategy. Looking ahead to 2022, the organisation’s plans include an exciting programme of events and activities across the UK as part of British Science Week in March; the commencement of several funded climate change community projects in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in partnership with UKRI; the return of the British Science Festival in September hosted by our partners De Montfort University Leicester; and the next phase of the BSA’s EDI journey.

Katherine Mathieson said:

“It has been an immense privilege to be part of this brilliant team. I have worked alongside so many inspiring colleagues, volunteers, partners and board members, and I am proud of the important and excellent work we have done together.

“However, after nearly 13 years, I believe that the time is right for someone else to bring fresh energy, ideas and networks to the CEO role - I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next for the BSA.”