The idea for a National Academy for Mathematical Sciences was first put forward in the Bond Report: Era of Mathematics – an Independent Review of Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences, published in 2018, to provide, for the first time, a single body which represents the whole of the mathematical sciences. The resulting Green Paper consultation by the Council for the Mathematical Sciences outlined a proposal for a National Academy that embraces academia, education, industry and government agencies, with a primary focus on external advocacy and enhancing connections across the broad mathematical sciences community. Following its consultation of the mathematical sciences community, the CMS set up a working group that produced a Next Steps paper. This envisages employing a senior administrator to serve as Executive Director and setting up a focused Executive Committee of a proto-Academy. A go/no-go decision for the Academy would be taken at the end of the period (two and a half years).
1. Chair and Members of the Executive Committee
The Council for the Mathematical Sciences is seeking nominations, or self-nominations, for members and a Chair for the Executive Committee to work on a voluntary basis as part of the next steps in setting up a National Academy for the Mathematical Sciences. Further information can be found in this document and the nomination form. Please return completed forms to Lindsay Walsh (Lindsay.firstname.lastname@example.org) by 8 August 2022.
2. Executive Director, National Academy for the Mathematical Sciences (Fixed Term)
The post holder, working closely with the Chair of the Executive Committee, will liaise with potential funders, including research funders and philanthropists, to raise funds for ongoing operations; help to develop the strategy and operational plan for the proto-Academy, in consultation with stakeholders; design and implement the new organisation and fellowship structure; setup and oversee the work of a small policy, education and EDI unit; and liaise with high-level stakeholders, including researchers, policymakers, businesspeople, those involved in mathematics education and the media to carve out a distinctive role for the new body.
This is a fixed-term position and funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance. The deadline to apply for this role is 14 August 2022. Further particulars can be seen here.
Consultations on the National Academy for Mathematical Sciences and Connected Centres Network: feedback and next steps
*Update 13 April 2022:*
Following the consultation on the National Academy for Mathematical Sciences and Connected Centres Network, the CMS Chair, Alison Etheridge, convened a Task and Finish Group (TAFG) , to consider the feedback received, and propose next steps bearing in mind the available funding. This attached paper briefly outlines the key topics arising in the consultation, the recommendations of the TAFG to date, and the latest developments.
In 2018, Professor Philip Bond launched his Independent Review into Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences at the House of Lords, which set out twenty-six recommendations around the themes of Governance, Skills, National Resource & Infrastructure, Regional Support, and Government.
The Council for the Mathematical Sciences (CMS) welcomed the review and its recommendations. In response, the CMS commissioned the Big Mathematics Initiative, a two-tier committee structure led by Dr Claire Craig and Sir Bernard Silverman, to develop proposals to take forward the Bond Review. The BMI initiative reported its recommendations in June 2020, and stemming from these, it was agreed with the CMS that Professor David Abrahams, Director of the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) would establish a small working group to develop a prototype for a National Academy for Mathematical Sciences. The Green Paper (below) developed by this working group sets down the narrative for such an academy, and lays out a roadmap for how an academy might be created and operate.
The Bond Review also advocated that “A national centre in impactful mathematics for the UK should be created to work with industry and government to drive mathematical research through to commercialisation. This could be based on existing models […] and to act as a national [knowledge exchange] hub”. Building on this, David Abrahams, in conjunction with Jane Leeks, Manager of the Newton Gateway, developed a vision to create a step change in the scale, connectivity, and coordination of mathematical sciences knowledge exchange infrastructure in the UK, securing seed funding (as part of the EPSRC Additional Funding Programme for Mathematical Sciences) to initiate this. In order to ensure that any proposed Connected Centre Network model is owned by the whole mathematical sciences community, an implementation plan has been independently developed by Joanna Jordan (RTTP) and Matt Butchers (KTN).
The Green Paper recognises the vital importance of mathematical education for the supply of future mathematical scientists and for improved mathematical literacy more generally. The proposed educational function would build on existing models for coordinating expertise and generating influence in this complex arena, and would ensure a better interface between those involved in mathematics education, industry and research.
With the support of Professor Andrew Noyes (Chair of the Joint Mathematical Council of the UK), the CMS consulted the mathematical sciences community on the proposals in both of these documents.
A recording of the Townhall event can be accessed here.
National Academy for Mathematical Sciences Green Paper
Below a short video by David Abrahams gives an overview of the proposal.
A live FAQ paper can be accessed here and will be updated on a regular basis.
Knowledge Exchange Connected Centres Network implementation plan
Below a video by Matt Butchers gives an overview of the proposal.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who was involved in producing these documents, and to the INI who provided the administrative support needed to gather and collate responses.
A small task and finish group was convened to analyse responses.