February 2019

Government Chemist team celebrates first female president of the Association of Public Analysts

The career and legacy of Joan Davena Peden (1920-1997) have been charted in a paper in the Journal of the Association of Public Analysts.
The open access paper was a collaboration between Michael Walker from the Government Chemist team with Professor D T Burns from the Institute of Global Food Security in Queen’s University Belfast.
Joan Peden was the first female to head a department for Somerset County Council and hold the post of President of the Association of Public Analysts (APA).
She was an enterprising and innovative Public Analyst (Official Control Scientist), remembered with considerable respect within the profession, who embraced modern analytical techniques, successfully confronted lack of transparency in feed additive declarations and tackled challenges, such as pesticide bioaccumulation and heavy metal environmental pollution. Coupled with an engaging literary style, consummate expertise and natural personal authority, Joan Peden was an exemplar Public Analyst, who set standards in all of her areas of activity.
The authors wish to thank Louise Gillet of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society; Iain Hunter, Manager, Somerset Scientific Services; Robert Giles, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Rev JH Yoxall, Blackthorn Benefice, for their assistance with materials for this biography; and Dr Caroline Pritchard, LGC, for helpful editorial comments.
The paper, titled “Joan Davena Peden (1920-1997): An Exemplar Public Analyst and the First Female President of the Association of Public Analysts”, can be read in full here.