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Oxford researchers Jennifer Lane (far left), Fiona Powrie (6th from right), and Tonia Vincent (3rd from right) join the celebrations with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.© Ian Jones Photography Oxford researchers Jennifer Lane (far left), Fiona Powrie (6th from right), and Tonia Vincent (3rd from right) join the celebrations with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

How inspiriting to be hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House to celebrate with Versus Arthritis "Women in Science". Inspiriting, not because of the event – grand as it was, nor because of the gracious reception we received from the Duchess. But inspiriting because it didn't feel remotely unusual to be surrounded by fellow female academics working in the field of arthritis. 

 

 

 

 

 

Group attending the Versus Arthritis Women in Science event© Ian Jones Photography Group attending the Versus Arthritis Women in Science event

Academic rheumatology has bucked the trend for many years. We owe much to earlier academic rheumatology role models, Dame Professor Carol Black and Professor Pat Woo, not to mention a previous Director of the Kennedy Institute, Dame Professor Helen Muir. All of them, as well as us, were and are generously supported by Versus Arthritis. Thanks to these pioneering women and to the charity we have been able to flourish without being conscious of our gender!