To mark Black History Month in 2014 we are hosting a live Twitter conversation between some of the scientists featured in our Inspiring Scientists: Diversity in British science series of films, made in partnership with National Life Stories at the British Library and the general public.

At lunchtime on 22 October 2014 we will be welcoming some of the scientists from these films into the Royal Society to take part in a live Twitter conversation. Questions about the scientist’s specific areas of science and their experience of diversity within UK science, as discussed in their respective films, will be welcome.

Who’s involved?

Saiful IslamProfessor Saiful Islam is a chemist who never wears a white lab coat. Rather than conduct experiments in laboratories, he uses the world’s most powerful computers to produce computer models of the inner, ‘atomic’ structure of materials used in ‘green’ energy applications, from the lithium ion rechargeable batteries in mobile phones, tablets and laptops, to futuristic solid oxide fuel cells. His work at the University of Bath aims to contribute to a less polluting, more sustainable future. He was brought up in London by parents who had emigrated from Bangladesh and often finds that he surprises people when he tells them that, in spite of his surname, he is a humanist. Watch Saiful’s film.

Dr Charlotte ArmahDr Charlotte Armah was born in London to parents who had emigrated from Ghana and her scientific work may have very obvious benefits for us all. She leads experiments involving human volunteers that are designed to decide whether eating particular foods – especially broccoli – can protect us from diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. This work allows her to combine her scientific expertise (developed through comprehensive school, a degree and PhD), her keen interest in helping others (developed through voluntary work and encouraged by Christian faith) and her enjoyment of meeting and interacting with people of all kinds. She has been very successful in science – presenting her work all over the world – without feeling that science has ever been an obsession; she explains that rather than playing with chemistry sets as a child, she preferred to sing along to the Radio 1 pop music chart. Watch Charlotte’s film.

Further information

When: Noon 22 October 2014
Where: Twitter, check out @RoyalSociety for re-tweets from the scientists and questions from members of the public. The hashtag for the event is #MyLifeInScience.

To ask a question in advance of the activity, please send it to or Tweet it live during the conversation on 22 October.

Contact James Wharton on for further information