The Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, has appointed its first ever head of press and PR.
Liz Brodie joins the RS from her current position as head of communications at the National Asthma Campaign.
She will head up an initial team of four - including a PR manager - and has been given a preliminary brief to make the RS more proactive in its press and PR operations. A specific task is to create greater public awareness of the RS work among the general public.
'This is a challenging role. The RS is really cranking up its communications, and is making a huge commitment to its press and PR operations,' said Brodie, who will report to head of communications, Dr David Boak.
Boak has been responsible for PR and media operations of a more scientific nature, but Brodie's appointment is seen as necessary to raise the RS's profile to the general public.
She will also oversee the RS web site operation and work closely with the senior team to raise the general profile 'in lay man's terms'.
Brodie joined the National Asthma Campaign, initially as a PRO, six years ago. Her replacement has yet to be appointed.
Her first appointment in the voluntary sector was with the London homeless charity, Turning Point.
The RS has over 1,300 fellows, who use it to share information and produce a series of journals, authoritative statements and reports which provide advice to government and the public on key scientific and technology issues, such as BSE and the internet.
It was founded in 1690 and is funded through a mix of donations, legacies, fundrasing, government grants and corporate sponsorship.