The Big Mathematics Initiative (BMI) Virtual Event: An Academy for Mathematical Sciences

Thursday 11 June, 2020

Although the UK has a number of specialist professional and learned societies, it lacks an overarching body with the ability effectively to bring together its diverse parts, from pure mathematics through industrial and applied mathematics to statistics and operational research, in an effective broad-based forum. The experience of the Royal Academy of Engineering shows that a single Academy is a hugely powerful way to build on the existing specialist bodies, enabling them far more effectively to contribute their individual strengths to the overall discipline. The Academy would act as an enabler, not a competitor, enhancing the work of the existing learned societies and other groups.

The idea of an Academy was mooted in the Bond review and has been considered in more detail by the Implementation and Strategic Committees, which were set up by the Council for Mathematical sciences in response to the review and chaired by Sir Bernard Silverman and Dr Claire Craig respectively.

The purpose of this event is to bring together interested members of the mathematical community to discuss the role and mission of such an Academy and to map out possible ways forward.

For further information on the Big Mathematics Initiative, please go to this site


This event is now finished. Feedback was forwarded to the CMS.

Many thanks to the scribes (named below) and synthesisers who supported the breakout room discussions.


  • Tammy Tran, Lindsay Walsh (CMS)
  • Susan Gowans (INI, Cambridge)
  • Ben Robinson (IMI, Bath)
  • Liam Holligan, Gillian Kerr, Al Spratt, Belle Taylor, Jane Walker (ICMS, Edinburgh)
  • Lissie Hope, Jane Leeks, Clare Merritt (Newton Gateway, Cambridge)


Meeting papers

  1. The case for a national academy
  2. Academy consultation overview
  3. Governance and structure
  4. Next Steps





9.30 (Start)


ICMS Opens Meeting and Housekeeping Items

Official Welcome/Introduction by Panel Talks

The welcome and panel presentations will be recorded and made available.

Ian Diamond – CMS address

Meeting Panel

John Pullinger, BMI Strategic Committee Member: Introduction

    • Claire Craig, Chair of the BMI Strategic Committee; BMI Overview
    • David Leslie, BMI Implementation Group Member: Academy
    • Bernard Silverman, Chair of the BMI Implementation Group: Governance
    • Caroline Series, BMI Strategic Committee Member: Next Steps
    • Nira Chamberlain, BMI Strategic Committee Member: reflection on the above


Group Discussion set up


Small group discussions in break out sessions

(output from the group discussions will be collated at the end)


Coffee/Tea Break


Report back from breakout groups (including questions for the panel)




Wrap up/Conclusions


End of meeting


Any questions, please contact

This event was supported as part of the Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences.