Maria Ferran, Faculty Manager & Webmaster interviews Briony Hudson for
International Women’s Day 2023
Briony Hudson being awarded her Honorary Fellowship
to the Faculty by Andrew Papanikitas, President
MF: What did it feel like to be the second female President of the Faculty?
BH: It was a real honour and privilege to have been the President, let alone the second woman to hold the role. Tina Matthews, the first woman President, originally encouraged me to stand for the Committee, and has been a great support and role model in terms of her pragmatic and determined approach to leadership.
It was been fabulous to work alongside Jane and Christina, a unique time in the Society’s history with Jane Carey-Harris leading the Livery Committee then as well. I think Elizabeth Garrett Anderson would approve!
MF: What vision did you have for the Faculty?
BH: I very consciously worked with you as Faculty Manager to ensure that considerations of diversity were more embedded in all of the Faculty’s work – including committee membership, programming and accessibility – which partly inspired my minority position as a non-medic younger woman in a senior Society role. What the Faculty offers could be enjoyed by many and more varied people than we currently reach, so I also had an ongoing mantra about joining the dots in terms of communication and promotion. Finally, as a museum curator and pharmacy historian, I was delighted that the Society’s fantastic collections were much more integrated into Faculty courses and events, and that the “and Pharmacy” part of the Faculty’s name was also more visible in its activities – my main mission when I joined the committee.
MF: How do you juggle the many hats you wore as a freelancer?
BH: With more difficulty than most people see! I’m a meticulous time planner and list maker, and have been incredibly lucky that I’m not our family’s main breadwinner, so can consider my capacity to take on roles (voluntary and paid) and projects alongside my parental and pet-owning responsibilities! Lots of my projects and roles have tessellated over time or built on each other which also makes them both easier and more enjoyable.
MF: Share a piece of advice someone gave you that you have never forgotten?
BH: “Take notice of the small things as they are often actually the big things.” Although I first came across this in the context of listening to your small child’s seemingly trivial concerns so that they will hopefully trust you with their significant worries too, I think this also rings very true for a successful management approach, building relationships – and also for my personal well being.
MF: What now and how can people connect with you?
BH: I started as (part-time) Director of Amersham Museum (www.amershammuseum.org) at the end of July 2022, and am really enjoying getting settled into such a vibrant and friendly local museum. My first book for children – Medicine. A marvellously illustrated history (with illustrator Nick Brown) – was published which was exciting after previous publications aimed at adults.
You can find me on Facebook and Twitter (@brionyhudson2), and occasionally in person at Apothecaries’ Hall!