Womens+ History Month logo Women Academics in Conversation Podcast cover image

Women Academics in Conversation

These podcasts put women academics in conversation with each other across faculties. We showcase both the incredible work women in our university have achieved, as well as the journeys they each had to undertake to get here. We hope to inspire you, to show you there is no one set path, and to hopefully give you some advice they would’ve given themselves. Carpe Diem.

Meet the Guests

Jenny Baxter

Episode 1: Jenny and the BBC

Jenny Baxter - Chief Operating Officer of UEA

This special episode features Jenny Baxter, COO of UEA. She’s someone central to the fabric of our university and an incredible voice dedicated to developing talent here at UEA. But before joining us, Jenny had a storied career at the BBC, as both head of foreign news and the COO of BBC England. She was also on the ground during some momentous historical events, including the election of Nelson Mandela and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here she is, speaking with our own Lizzie Payne, UEA SU’s activities and opportunities officer.

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Teresa Armijos Burneo Stephanie Nolte

Episode 2: Environment and Generosity

Dr. Teresa Armijos Burneo (DEV) and Dr. Stefanie Nolte (ENV)

Environmental collapse is one of our greatest threats today and this episode centres on two academics who research the multi-faceted ways the environment, change, and crisis come to affect each other. In this rich and warm discussion, these women take us on a journey that has taken them around the globe, examining the world around us and looking at innovative methodologies for empowering people to deal with these challenges. Dr. Armijos’ research spans the relationship between humans and the environment in several ways (including humans rights, environmental justice). Dr. Nolte’s work looks at biodiversity and coastal ecosystems reacting to climate change. They discuss being first-generation academics, the challenges, and rewards of being a woman doing fieldwork, and emphasise the importance of being generous.

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Kate Russell Samantha Knapton

Episode 3: Being Under-Estimated

Associate Professor Kate Russell (EDU) and Dr. Samantha Knapton (HIS)

Today’s episode presents a really warm conversation between two researchers who work with identity. Dr. Russell has been a leading researcher in gender and sexuality in sporting and educational contexts and Dr. Knapton is a historian who specialises in identity and displacement during post-war Europe. Their conversation is an illuminating window on how women are perceived in academia, LGBT and diversity, as well as an example of how good mentorship leads to good leadership. They talk about what it feels like to be under-estimated and the different people who have supported and empowered them.

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Maria Serban Tahmina Zebin

Episode 4: Science, Ethics and Seizing Opportunities

Dr. Maria Serban (PHI) and Dr. Tahmina Zebin (CMP)

What is ethical AI and how can computer programming be inclusive? To reflect on these questions we have Dr. Maria Serban, a philosopher of science, and Dr. Tahmina Zebin, computing science academic in AI research. Their conversation examines the ethics of AI programming, unpicks the notion of a purely objective programmer, and goes into detail on how identity and science inflect upon each other. Dr. Zebin and Dr. Serban also touch on their journeys as women in a male-dominated field. Together we get a rich discussion on how gender and science does and doesn’t matter, as well as the value of luck and seizing opportunities.

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Catherine Rowett Katherine Deane

Episode 5: Dealing with Adversity

Professor Catherine Rowett (PHI) and Associate Professor Katherine Deane (HSC)

Imagine that you’re a specialist in ancient philosophy and you are suddenly struck with a solution that has bamboozled philosophers for several millennia, a hunch that turns out to be correct when an ancient papyrus resurfaces? This is the story of one of our guests today, Professor Catherine Rowett. She’s joined in conversation with Associate Professor Katherine Deane from the School of Health Sciences, a wonderfully passionate driving force for people with disabilities. Together they provide a window into what it means to be a woman academic these past few decades, the challenges of being both a successful academic and parent, and how tenacity and passion reap rewards.

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Women Academics in Conversation Podcast cover image

Episode List

All episodes are currently available on SoundCloud:

  • Episode 1: Jenny and the BBC
  • Episode 2: Environment and Generosity
  • Episode 3: Being Under-Estimated
  • Episode 4: Science, Ethics and Seizing Opportunities
  • Episode 5: Dealing with Adversity

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