BBC presenter and physicist talks bubbles, the ocean and women working in STEM

Dr Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer, is set to present a guest lecture on 11 May as part of Loughborough University’s Claudia Parsons lecture series.

The series is aimed at raising the profile of women working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as part of the national Athena SWAN initiative.

Dr Czerski will present The Bubble: Good in the ocean and bad in the workforce, which will explore her own path in science and her love of the ocean.

Passionate about real women working in science, Dr Czerski’s research focuses on the optics and acoustics of ocean bubbles and the influence of ocean bubbles on the atmosphere.

Helen, a familiar face from BBC science programmes, comments: “We're surrounded by fascinating science all the time, but we don't notice most of it.

“A scientific career is a path full of adventures, ideas and exploration. Its greatest strength is probably the same as its greatest weakness: it’s a journey taken by and with human beings. Human culture hasn’t always given everyone the same opportunities on that journey, but science has reinvention built into its core, so there is good cause for optimism.

“This lecture will discuss how a modernisation of our scientific system will benefit everyone, not just women, and explore why we should all think about bubbles more.”

The series of lectures are part of the Athena SWAN initiative, a national programme that recognises the need to support the careers of women in STEM subjects.

Claudia Parsons was a student at Loughborough College from 1919-22, and was one of the first women to receive a diploma in Automobile Engineering. She became the first woman to circumnavigate the world by car and wrote about her experience in a number of influential travel books.

Chair of Loughborough’s Athena SWAN self-assessment team, Professor Steve Rothberg, adds: “We named our lecture series in memory of Claudia Parsons who was a Loughborough student from 1919-22 one of the first women to receive a Diploma in Automobile Engineering. Claudia understood what a student experience was all about. She went on to become the first woman to circumnavigate the world by car and was an inspiration. Through Helen’s lecture, we hope to inspire everybody, women and men, with an interest in or a responsibility for careers in the scientific workforce.”

The open lecture will take place in the University’s Edward Herbert Building, J.1.04 at 5.30pm.

Booking is essential, please register your attendance here.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/67

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.



Sophie Walker

Communications Officer

Telephone: 01509 222224

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224