Ruth and her element

In March I was fortunate to attend the UK-Russia Frontiers of Science symposium – a great meeting for early career researchers. The Royal Society’s Foreign Secretary, Martyn Poliakoff, took the opportunity while in Kazan to visit the Museum of Chemistry. He was there owing to his personal interest as a chemist, and to try and get some additional material for his youtube series Periodic Videos.


I took the opportunity to tag along and came face to face with “my” element – Number 44, Ruthenium. I certainly can’t claim it was named after me (nor happily that I was named after it) but it was still good to see it. The locals seemed to be amused (Ruth is not a common name in Russia);  so here is thepicture for posterity of me posing with “my” element.


The Royal Society has enjoyed strong links with Russia since its earliest days in the seventeenth century.  Earlier this month saw the continuation of this long tradition, with the visit of a high level Russian delegation which aimed to bring together science, engineering and research funders, along with academies and other stakeholders, to forge closer links and to promote mutual understanding of each other’s organisations, research landscapes and priorities. See Building scientific links with Russia.