The best place for research

Professor Jim Naismith, Director of RCaH, is bound to be biased – but in his opinion, this is the best place for science.

‘The best science is possible because we have the synchrotron. It’s very unusual that we have all four modalities here on the spot: a neutron facility in ISIS, electron bio-imaging in eBIC, very short bursts of high energy in the Central Laser Facility and X-rays in the synchrotron. We have everything here – even the USA doesn’t have all this in one place.’

Jim came to RCaH from the University of St Andrews, which is obviously still dear to his heart.  And he moved his whole research group down south with him – it’s an easy place to come, he says. His interests lie in the chemistry of biology – protein structure determination, for example, and being here at RCaH has changed the whole scale of his research. No wonder that the life sciences are starting to have the same level of excitement as the physical sciences.

‘There’s innovation here, engagement with industry, we’ve got the Catalysis Hub, people with their own companies, and together we publish about 200 papers a year – that’s about one a day. We’re creating jobs and carrying out wonderful world-class science.

‘The opportunities are massive. You could really transform your research by being here – and people are doing just that.’