Liverpool Hope University Chancellor, Professor Monica Grady CBE, delivered the 2022 Michael Faraday Prize Lecture on Monday 6 March 2023.
Professor Grady explained how microscopes are being used to learn about the processes and materials that shaped the solar system as she gave the 36th edition of the prestigious lecture at the Royal Society.
Entitled Astronomy by Microscope, Professor Grady’s address highlighted the important role the smaller instrument plays in astrophysics – a field which is traditionally associated with the larger telescope tool.
Professor Grady was confirmed as the 2022 Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture winner in August, receiving the award for her significant contribution to the field of planetary science, and her dedication and enthusiasm for public engagement, particularly in raising the profile of STEM subjects for young women.
The prize is awarded annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms has been exemplary.
It is named after Michael Faraday FRS, the influential inventor and electrical pioneer who was prominent in the public communication of science and founded the Christmas lectures at the Royal Institution.
In receiving the award, Professor Grady joined an esteemed list of scientists, including Sir David Attenborough, Brian Cox and Robert Winston.
Reflecting on her achievement, she said: “I am delighted, proud and incredibly humbled to have been recognised by my peers and the Royal Society.
“To follow in the footsteps of the greats and to receive the prize in Michael Faraday’s name is amazing.
“Public engagement has been an important part of my career and I believe it is something any academic should do.
“We are funded by the public purse, and we owe it to the public to tell them what we are spending their money on and why it is worthwhile. That is a strong principle of mine.
“I am passionate about my science. I am also passionate about sharing it, the joy of it, the beauty of it and what you can learn about it.
“My lecture gave me the chance to share more of that. It is a fantastic opportunity and one I am so grateful for.”
A recording of the 2022 Michael Faraday Prize Lecture is available to watch, here.