UCL News


'Women who win': a profile of Professor Ruth Morgan

6 December 2019

In an interview with Marie Claire, Professor Ruth Morgan (UCL Security & Crime Science) talks about the challenges facing forensic science and efforts to make the interpretation of science in court more robust.

Professor Ruth Morgan

Ruth Morgan is the first Professor of Crime and Forensic Science at UCL. She is passionate about promoting women in STEM careers, and was named one of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 21 Young Scientists of 2019.

‘Don’t let failure stop you’
Funding is a huge challenge for forensic science. It was clear to me that the traditional routes to secure this for research wouldn’t work, so I raised money to set up a lab by crowdfunding.

‘The way science is used impacts on people’s lives’
While I was a PhD student, I did research on a murder trial appeal. We discovered the forensic evidence that led to the guilty verdict hadn’t been properly test, and the real culprit was eventually convicted. There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure the interpretation of science in court is robust and trustworthy.

‘We need collaboration to ensure innovation’
There are challenges in forensic science that scan the entire process. We need to bring people from different industries together because that’s when you get the innovation to deal with big issues.

‘I want science to improve our future’
Within the WEF’s Young Scientists group, we have every type of scientist. We’re given the chance to talk to politicians and industry leaders. I think something quite exciting could happen from this – I’m really positive about the future.