Dame Mary Archer

President, National Energy Foundation


Mary Archer read chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and went on to do her PhD at Imperial College, London, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at Oxford and The Royal Institution, London, where she developed her longstanding research interest in physico-chemical aspects of solar energy conversion. She then taught chemistry for ten years for Newnham and Trinity College, Cambridge. Leaving full-time teaching in 1986, she developed a diverse portfolio career which included membership of the Council of Lloyd’s of London and the board of Anglia Television and serving as the Visitor of the University of Hertfordshire. She was chairman of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from 2002 to 2012, during which time she became interested in the science and technology underlying the delivery of modern healthcare and the methods by which patients can be encouraged to take an active and informed role in their healthcare.

Mary Archer chaired the National Energy Foundation for ten years, and is now its president. She is also president of the UK Solar Energy Society and the Guild of Church Musicians. She is currently a director of the Britten Sinfonia and the careers information web portal icould. She is a Companion of the Energy Institute and was awarded the Institute’s Melchett Medal in 2002. In 2007, she was awarded the Eva Philbin Award of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland, and in 2012 she was appointed DBE for services to the NHS.

She is the author of Rupert Brooke and The Old Vicarage, Grantchester (1989) and The Story of the Old Vicarage, Grantchester (2012), and co-editor of Clean Electricity from Photovoltaics (2001), Molecular to Global Photosynthesis (2004), The 1702 Chair of Chemistry at Cambridge (2005) and Nanostructured and Photoelectrochemical Systems for Solar Photon Conversion (2008).

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