May and the joys of Nature close to home.

May long-weekend and half-term holiday – a time to get away or a time to simply appreciate some of the joys of Nature close to home.

Our tiny, feathered friends have returned to nest and raise their second brood of the year. Meanwhile, the roadsides and hedgerows nearby are festooned with cascades of Laburnum and random patches of poppies and wildflowers. Hawthorn, colloquially known as May or the May Tree is widespread in the UK and the white blossom typically appears this month.

 “N’er cast a clout till May is out”.

This proverb alludes to the fickle British weather. It is commonly thought that the reference isn’t about the end of the month of May, but one of our most common trees, the Hawthorn. Clout is from an Old English word for cloth or clothing, and the saying is a reminder not to be too quick to put away your winter clothes until summer has fully arrived.

Have a lovely weekend.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 26/05/23


Celebrating International Clinical Trials Day at The Christie Open Day.

‘Around the world International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated to raise the awareness of the importance of clinical trials and research in healthcare.’
The Christie, based in Manchester, had an open day and I decided to go along and take the opportunity of a walking tour of the Clinical Trials Facility.

Photos of Open Day at the Christie

‘The Christie is ranked as the most technologically advanced cancer centre in the world outside North America and has been named by the National Institute for Health Research as one of the best hospitals providing opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research studies.’

It was a very interesting morning, and the standout feature was the sheer enthusiasm and dedication of the staff which included senior research nurses, a matron, and the senior clinical trials laboratory technician.

As someone with a research background and experience in many aspects of clinical trials it was impressive and reassuring to see the stringent controls in place to ensure high standards, adherence to protocols and clear communication of information to minimise risks of errors.

Congratulations to all involved in providing this opportunity for people generally to see the facilities, speak to staff about why they do what they do and ask any questions.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 20/05/23

Women Pioneering Global Harmony.

This conference was convened by GCF-WIN, hosted by CSPOC at the United Nations Office in Geneva 11th May 2023.

I felt privileged to receive a personal invitation to be a participant. I learned a great deal from listening to the presentations and discussions. It was an excellent thought-provoking and inspiring event!

I am humbled to have heard the stories and thoughts shared by the many impressive and passionate speakers including women of a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

For me this experience also sits well with my mantra of looking beyond to understand better that which is in front of you.

Thanks again for this opportunity and to all those involved in making this happen. I think this will be an impetus for action and ‘make a difference’.

A time for change? It feels like the impetus is building…

There are truly good people out there doing great things for the right reasons.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 11/05/23


[GCF (Global Citizen Forum) ‘Beyond Gender, Religion and Nationality’
WIN inspiring women worldwide (Women’s International Networking)
CSPOC a United Nations accredited, not-for-profit NGO.’Fostering self-sustaining solutions by integrating Health, Education, and Enterprise, celebrating Diversity & Inclusion’]

May Focus

What a great time to be involved in life sciences, research and communications! Equally, these days I am actively listening and contributing more widely.

It is consistent with my purpose and may bring a few surprises, and some smiles from time to time.

Focus on Purpose.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 01/05/23

(😊.‘Not all those who wander are lost’ from a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien.)

Allegories in Life. Pause. Reflect. Reset. Refresh!

I was born and bred in Yorkshire but ‘Made in Manchester’ and still with very strong links there. I settled in leafy Cheshire, a move prompted by my first job with ICI; but I stayed in the area after leaving Big Pharma.
Here are some lovely new photos taken last week in France.

Photos of  Views  in  Nice France

All is not always what it seems!
The purpose of that visit was to check on repairs after water damage to our French property – a getaway where we’d hoped to spend more time (I can work from anywhere or at this stage I can choose to pause.) 
I have had 3 busy, productive months in Q1 of 2023. However, like many people I have suffered several episodes of the ‘dreaded lurgy’ for example, a lingering sore throat, blocked or runny nose, and persistent coughs. This was probably due to mixing more.
I’ve had to make judgements on which meetings to attend in person. Persistent coughing is inappropriate in person and also online. I had to make decisions who to visit – even with negative covid tests I didn’t want to be spreading any nasty infections to vulnerable elderly relatives (missed a big party!)
Anyway, on arrival at my idyllic getaway in France the repairs had been done but the walls and shelves were bare and all the electrical devices, TV, internet etc. needed to be reconnected. There was a lot of work to be done and thankfully, my hubby took care of most of it. He has his uses 😉.
I decided to try and relax and catch up on some sleep.
So, there you go some beautiful uplifting views to share. I’ll return to enjoy the experience another time. 
Meanwhile, for now I’m back in leafy Cheshire having taken a dose of my own medicine – relax and catch up on quality sleep. As I say to others it’s about pacing yourself and taking notice of signals from your inner self. 
With the benefit of thinking time, I am grateful that I still have much to say and do in life, science, causes close to my heart, and especially my family. 
I have often ‘overdone it’ earlier in my career but now pace myself better.

Onwards and upwards.

Pause, reflect, reset, and refresh!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 18/04/23

A Spring surprise to herald the month of April.

There is a feeling of joy in the air, here close to home today! (Up North in the UK).


Nature is full of surprises and free! From the frosty mornings in March there are now bursts of activity, with the diversity of wildlife clearly visible, and many new beginnings to come in April.

Hello! We have a Great Spotted Woodpecker as a surprise visitor to the garden, today.

We do not have to always be an expert. We can enjoy and celebrate the simple pleasures in life. Sometimes when we pause to relax and observe, surprises and good things come to us🤞.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 02/04/23

The influence of working mothers – A few childhood memories of my working mum.

My mother worked part-time throughout most of my childhood and beyond. For many years she was the manageress of a small local launderette. I have very fond memories of her taking me to work which she did quite often. I loved it!

It was great fun helping with little tasks, and chatting to staff and customers who Mum knew. As a treat she’d send me to the bakers a few doors down the road to get potted beef, bread cakes, and iced finger buns.

• Cups of tea and lots of chat!
• ‘Cashing up’ – it was my job to put coins in little piles of equal value making is easier to tot up the total takings of the day.
• Being shown how to fold sheets – the easy way and more fun with a team of two.

Mum had an amazing head for numbers. I remember her totting up her shopping bill and knowing exactly how much she had spent before arriving at the till. Embarrassing as it was for me, it seemed she was often disputing discrepancies with shopkeepers or assistants, but she was always spot on and accurate!

When I had children, myself, she strongly encouraged me to continue work – preferably part-time even. Being a good mother and also having an independent spirit was important.

In her teens she was expected to go work ‘in t’ mill’ like other women in her family. She was more ambitious and preferred office work – rising to chief cashier at the local Woolworths, and training staff at other branches. Her own mother and some other family members thought her to be a bit too hoity toity. However, her dad saw potential in her and at some point-in-time she told me he had offered her money to get her started in her own business. She always regretted not having done so – she was afraid of losing his hard-earned money. (He was a Yorkshire coal miner, supporting a big family).

As was expected Mum gave up work immediately on getting married. I was her youngest child. As I recall she was working again (part-time) by the time I was about 4 years old.

It seemed fitting that I used some money Mum left to me, to set up my own business, in 2013.

When I had mentioned the idea a few years earlier, I remember her saying, ‘Wouldn’t you really like to run your own café?’

So, how did I become a scientist in cancer research and a specialist in Life Sciences? Well, that’s another story of many…

Nevertheless, I learned so much from my smart working-class mother. Her influence made me grounded but also ambitious in good ways, I think. We were similar and different, as well. She was not perfect, but because of that I think she was indeed perfect. I continued to call her and visit her frequently to the end, and always valued her straight talking and insightful advice. This piece touches on the influence of working mothers. Mum taught me many things, but I think her most precious legacy is her values.

We have the choice to emulate the best bits from our parents – and this is what I tell my own children. Mum was always telling me she was ‘very, very proud’ of me. I tell my children the same and use the same words.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 21/03/23


[This post follows on from my previous ones on International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day 2023 in the UK.]

Fancy a cuppa tea? ☕️

Made in Manchester, but Yorkshire – born and bred 😊.

A pro-manchester event, in the UK on International Women’s Day (IWD).

I was delighted to have been invited to join some other Northern women on one of the 2 Women Leading in Business (WLiB) tables at an event with about 300 attendees (mainly women but some men too).

IDW 2023 pro-manchester event
My snapshots capture some moments in the day.

This involved a short train journey into the centre of Manchester.

Having arrived back in Manchester from Dubai just the night before, the weather felt distinctly chilly, but it was more than compensated by the warmest of welcomes from fellow women on International Women’s Day!

This was Manchester so the energy in the room was high for this celebratory event! The agenda addressed important issues of our time. There was a powerful and moving opening song by Rowetta. This was followed by some inspirational speakers and panel discussions highlighting the journeys of women and their successes in the face of considerable challenges. Discussions about current challenges evoked words of wisdom, resilience, empathy, determination, and unity.

Passion, straight-talking, and humour were in abundance in the networking opportunities. I met some familiar friends and many new faces. The general buzz of the event was in keeping with the Manchester worker bee (one of the best-known symbols of Manchester) representing a hive of activity and the sense of unity in this great city.

This pro-manchester event was sponsored by Menopause the Wright Way. Charity Partners were Smart Works and CARISMA.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Thanks to all the speakers, organisers, and those behind the scenes. A special thanks to Rachel Tetlow (pro-manchester programmes and events) and to Claire-Marie Boggiano (host of WLiB).

What a week!

I need some quiet time now to catch up on all the happenings and posts relating to International Women’s Day.

Here’s to all the amazing women in many different fields who I feel proud to know and to the very visible people and the quieter people all doing their bit in troubling times. I am feeling a sense of humility.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 08/03/23


Click here for more about pro-manchester

A Tree of Life Sciences®: Consistency and a few surprises to come…

This is a quick and timely synopsis about A Tree of Life Sciences® to inform new connections, and to act as a quick reminder and an update for those already familiar with the company.

When I set up A Tree of Life Sciences Ltd some years ago, I created the name and designed the logo, myself. On reflection, I made the right decision particularly in view of the huge interest in life sciences and the research and endeavours that are being undertaken these days. I am very proud of the name and the logo which are registered trademarks (I protect them whenever necessary). My ideas are ‘often imitated but never equalled’ 😉.

Logo | A Tree of Life Sciences Ltd

Through these themes, I can continue to contribute to my mission to Inform, Improve and Inspire particularly in Life Sciences and health research; but also, in life and sciences more generally.

The website covers the potential scope of the company – the focus evolves and changes from time to time but the purpose remains clear and consistent.

Features include:

• Transcending borders and boundaries in subject and scope.

• Global, national, and local projects or perspectives.

• Project consultancy and communications including Life Sciences, Clinical and Health Research.

What a great time to be involved in research and communications!

Science is important, exciting and sometimes surprising. Scientists are serious about their work and often playful too.

My communications include papers, posts, and poems. The subjects are serious with a creative flair.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 28/02/23

Focus on Purpose.

I am a scientist and I have a clear purpose. I am an expert in life sciences, clinical and health research. I am on a mission to Inform, Improve, and Inspire particularly in the Life Sciences. But also, in life and sciences more generally.

Remember ‘Not all those who wander are lost’.

I have a clear purpose.

A Tree of Life Sciences® exists to inform, improve, and inspire.

As a project consultant I ‘make it happen’ and I have been doing this for many years for the projects I have worked on or led.

A Tree of Life Sciences® continues to ‘make it happen’ as an independent consultancy and through its communications.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth 22/02/23


(‘Not all those who wander are lost’ from a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien.)