Mary Archer read Chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford and did her PhD at Imperial College, London. She returned to Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s and then as a temporary lecturer at Somerville. After a second post-doctoral stint at the Royal Institution, she took up a Fellowship at Newnham College, Cambridge. Since leaving academia, she has held a number of appointments, among them chairing Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for ten years. She was until 2023 chair of the Science Museum Group, and she is Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. She is also President of the UK Solar Energy Society, the National Energy Foundation and the Guild of Church Musicians and President of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. In 2012, she was appointed DBE for services to the NHS.