Things Are Just a Little Bit Harder

Author: Mario MüllerORCID iD, ChemViews Magazine

Nicola Gaston, University of Auckland, New Zealand, and author of “Why Science is Sexist” talks about fairness and equality in research.

Nicola Gaston studied at the University of Auckland and at Massey University, New Zealand, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany. She then worked as a Principal Researcher at Industrial Research Ltd. (IRL), Lower Hutt, New Zealand, and as Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Today, Nicola Gaston is Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland and Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

Her research focuses on understanding the physical properties of materials as a function of size, from few-atom clusters to nanoparticles and the bulk. She uses ab initio quantum mechanical techniques to describe electronic structure and aims to understand its relationship with properties such as catalytic activity, chemical reactivity, conductivity, and thermodynamic stability.

Nicola Gaston was President of the New Zealand Association of Scientists in 2014–2015, she received the 2016 CMMSE (Computational and Mathematical Methods in Science and Engineering) Prize for her work on the properties of atomic clusters, and actively advocates for greater equity and participation in science.

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