Adam, Dallas, Kevin and Mark New

Front: Kevin Fong. Back, left to right: Mark Miodownik, Adam Rutherford, Dallas Campbell. Location: Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL Photographer: Ben Gilbert Image © Ben Gilbert/ScienceGrrl Please do not use this image on other sites without the permission of ScienceGrrl (sciencegrrlUK@gmail.com)Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster. He has a PhD in genetics and an impressive collection of Star Wars Lego. He holds a photograph of X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958). She carried out her most famous work at King’s College, London: by exposing DNA to X-rays, she produced diffraction images that revealed its molecular structure. She went on to carry out pioneering work on the structure of viruses before dying of ovarian cancer aged 37.

Dallas Campbell is a popular science writer and broadcaster, and has a sideline in performing magic tricks. He has been inspired by astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943-). Burnell became the first person to detect pulsars, using a radio telescope she helped construct. Dallas’s photograph shows Burnell from around this time, when she was still a PhD student. She is the only woman to have held the role of President of the Institute of Physics (2008-2010).

Kevin Fong is a consultant anaesthetist, science writer and broadcaster, and Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow. He is fascinated by space and the work of Jill Tarter (1944-). Tarter has dedicated her career to the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence. She led Project Phoenix, the most comprehensive search for extraterrestrial signals ever undertaken. Ellie Arroway, the protagonist of Carl Sagan’s novel Contact and the 1997 movie adaptation of the same name, is based on Tarter and her work.

Mark Miodownik is a materials scientist at UCL, and Director of the Institute of Making. His photograph is a portrait of Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000). Although perhaps best known for her acting career, Lamarr coinvented and patented an early technique for spread-spectrum broadcasting, a technology that would later form the basis for wireless communication systems used by millions today.