With resource and global endeavour, the panellists at the event, and countless others referenced in the book and beyond, showed that they could move from receiving a sequence, to injecting a vaccine in human beings within a matter of months. They demonstrated that it was safe to complete science quickly, and that it needn’t take years to set up trials.
It was agreed that collaborative team science was at the heart of the pandemic response. There were no egos or questioning; everyone pulled together in equal measure. “The days of having a team investigator is over”, spoke one panellist, “It has to be ‘team science’ and we must maintain the openness of data sharing.” The Sanger Institute is proud of its ongoing commitment to sharing its data, as well as the resources, materials and publications it produces.
The panellists were united in noting the positive change in attitude and willingness from the scientific world to become a more inclusive environment. Everyone had a part to play.
And when it comes to inspiring young women in the scientific world to push on, or for those wondering whether to join it? The panellists stressed the importance of mentorship, empowerment and the idea that things will always work out in the end, even if that means picking yourself up and having another go.
Women have stepped up, and must continue finding the confidence to see themselves as mentors, to stand in front of the press and to speak at public engagement events.
Sónia concluded her time as a panellist at the event by noting, “Seeing so many women across the different Sanger teams standing out in their roles during this period, and then progressing on to more senior positions, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of being part of this work. We – as women – need to be in that role for other young women.”