The 2016 Rosalind Franklin Conference was held at Newnham College, Cambridge on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th April:

'Cyber Security: Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear?'

The Rosalind Franklin Conference

Inspiring young people to debate topical issues and to think about their future role in society

The McWhirter Foundation and its supporters host the Rosalind Franklin Conference at Newnham College Cambridge. Delegates from schools and colleges attend by invitation of the Foundation, at no cost to those attending. The conference encourages students to think about their own role in society and to think about how they might get involved with shaping Britain's future, whilst providing an insight into university life. Since 1975, more than 2,500 sixth formers have attended McWhirter Foundation Conferences. 


Following the success of  the Dicey Conferences at Oxford University over the last 40 years, the Foundation will be holding our first conference at Cambridge University in 2016. Whilst the same overall theme of exploring the importance of the Rule of Law, and latterly, the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the state, these conferences will have a more scientific and technical focus. 

Rosalind Franklin 1920-1958

Rosalind is famous as one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA.  Educated at St Paul’s School, London and Newnham College, Cambridge, she had, for a wartime PhD, researched the structure of coals and carbons. She pursued this work, after the war, with techniques of x-ray crystallography in a lab in Paris.  Back in London, she applied these techniques with enormous success to the DNA work, and later to the study of TMV and polio viruses.

But she was far from being just a fine technician.  As Aaron Klug said, ‘coupled with her practical skills was a powerful mind, and it is this combination which made her such a successful scientist.’ Her distinction, and her early death, before that distinction had been properly acknowledged, has turned the story of her life into a symbol of a woman struggling in a man's world.

Rosalind-Franklin 2016 Speakers


Miranda Glover is a graduate of St Hilda's College, Oxford. She has worked in digital communications consulting for the past 20 years. Her clients are as wide-ranging as SONY, EE, PRADA, the European Commission and Over the past year she has curated more than a dozen thought leadership events in London with partners including John Lewis, Expedia, Instagram and Google. Miranda has also published three contemporary novels with Random House and recently collaborated on Understanding Social Media, for Kogan Page. In Februrary 2016 she took on the role of Business Director at the leading digital media agency E3, who work with such clients as The National Trust and The Royal Navy. 

Anna Fielder has been Senior Policy Advisor at Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue since 2012. The TACD is a forum of US and EU consumer organizations, which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union to promote their joint consumer interests. Anna has been a consumer policy advocate and expert for many years (though she trained as a classics scholar and also spent a stint as a travel writer and editor). Since 2006 she works as an independent policy advisor and researcher for national and international public-interest organisations, and is a Trustee and Chair of the Board of Privacy International, and represents the organisation on data protection issues.



Jessica is a barrister (Matrix Chambers) and recognised as one of the country’s leading specialists in human rights, civil liberties and public law. After taking silk in 2013, she is ranked as a New Silk in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 (which in 2012 described her as “one of the best human rights lawyers in the country”). She is a highly acknowledged and regarded expert in matters relating to the European Court of Human Rights. Her clients have included large companies such as Google, National Express, the Post Office, Ingenious Media and Welsh Water; regulators such as Ofgem, Oftel and the OFT; and Government departments such as DECC, MoD, BERR, as well as NGOs such as WWF, Refuge and Liberty. Jessica is highly knowledgeable on the subject of privacy, data retention, state surveillance, and digital rights.

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