New role on the Live Science Team!

It’s been a whirlwind month, with research proposals, interviews, filming and all sorts of craziness, but I am SO EXCITED to have been offered a new job as Live Science Team Member in At-Bristol!

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I began my new role a few days ago along with 3 other lovely sci-sisters – we’ve been busy with training – learning everyone’s names, the layout of the building, evacuation plans – but wait, what about the science?!
I don’t jump straight into learning the programmes quite yet – but I do get other exciting things, like a photo-shoot for the website and even my own radio number (is it sad that excites me?!)

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The new Limas (our radio code!) getting a treat in the planetarium

Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and friendly and it makes it easy to see why so many people stay in the organisation for years – I can’t wait to learn from all the amazing other team members and get stuck in – especially the planetarium shows!

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Oooooo. Pretty.

The team is incredibly diverse – from palaeontologists, to marine biologists, to mathematicians – I’m so keen to soak up everyone’s knowledge and get an insight into their passions – and hopefully share mine too!

Our first few days included eating Marmite on Pringles, making laser cut shadows of ourselves and flying paper helicopters over the air table in the Tinkering Space. The best part is – everyday is going to be just as varied. I love the chance to unleash my creativity in a place that encourages experimentation and curiosity – and I can’t wait to spark that fire in someone else.

Exciting times ahead!

 

Bristol March for Science

On the 22nd April (Earth Day) thousands of Bristol supporters of science – from students, to famous names from science and television – will take to the streets to add their voices to a worldwide movement of marches in celebration of the vital role scientific evidence plays in our everyday lives.

Scientific study underpins the foundations of the world, yet, it is under attack across the globe, especially by those who have the power to change its influence. In a time when experts and evidence are being pushed aside, we must stand in solidarity to protect the use of scientific evidence in areas such as climate change and medical and environmental policy, and defend those working or studying in scientific fields such as research, medicine, engineering or technology. Budget cuts, censorship of researchers, disappearing datasets and threats to dismantle government agencies harm us all, putting our health, food, air, water, climate and jobs at risk. It is time for people who support science to take a public stand and be counted.

Bristol is a long-established centre of scientific excellence, home to major universities, industry and the biggest hub for wildlife filmmaking in the world. On the 22nd April, Bristolians will march in recognition of both the community’s commitment to protecting these credentials and the important role the city has carved in the scientific arena. Renowned for its creativity, Bristol is a truly special place where the arts and sciences meet and the rare joining of scientific and artistic minds seems to be more commonplace in our city that most. However, it is this synergy of disciplines that has real potential to impact UK science. Speaking of this, Anna Starkey, Creative Director of At-Bristol, says “Good science needs what Bristol offers as a city – connected people asking questions, sharing ideas, who are not afraid to be playful and experiment in the unknown.”

All students should have the opportunity for a quality science education and the march is a great opportunity to communicate a positive message to the public and public officials about the value and power of science, engineering and technology. The March for Science gives students the opportunity to step outside our universities and help inform all citizens about the value and importance of science and science education. The event has been designed to bring people of all ages in Bristol together to stand up for science. There will be stands and activities for children and adults alike in the Millennium Square, alongside prizes for the best banners – making it a fun but impactful day for families and for the future of their children.

We ask you to join us – it is time to stand up for and support the proper funding of scientific research, and demand the use of evidence to make informed decisions and policies. Prizes for best banners – science puns encouraged!

For more information, visit the Facebook event: http://bit.ly/ScienceMarchBRS
Twitter: @ScienceMarchBRS

Studying Science Communication

I started my MSc in Science Communication back in September 2016 and am absolutely loving it – it’s been a hell of a ride so far and I’ve met some incredible people along the way! I wanted to start writing about my experiences on the course, especially since I’m starting my final year project soon so feel a bit silly for not starting this back in September!

Since starting I’ve gone to festivals, visited conferences, been on the radio and most recently, made a short film – I’ve learn an incredible amount and want to write and share everything I’m doing on my blog, so this new ‘Science Communication’ page will be where you can read all about my adventures in scicomm!

Exciting things coming soon!
For now, you can follow me on Twitter @scicomm_tay

University outreach – in a box!

This blog has been adapted from the University of the West of England (UWE) Science Communication Unit (SCU) blog, where I study an MSc in Science Communication and also work with the BoxEd team, delivering schools outreach. If you’d like to know more about the unit, please click here.

The Science Communication Unit (SCU) at UWE has been involved in developing an ambitious new outreach programme for secondary schools in the region called BoxEd. We’ve worked with over 4,000 school pupils in the last 18 months, finding tardigrades, hacking robots and solving murder mysteries with science, technology, engineering and maths.

stem-roadshow-tweetThe idea behind the project is not only to engage local communities and raise pupil aspirations. Our plan is to refocus outreach within the university so that it no longer competes with student learning or research time, but instead functions to develop undergraduate skills and to showcase UWE’s cutting edge research.

The outreach activities are developed by specialists, but then led by undergraduate students and student interns, who develop confidence and skills. UWE Bristol students can use their outreach activities to count towards their UWE Futures Award, and in some degree courses we are looking at ways that outreach projects can provide credit and supplement degree modules. Researchers can use the activities to increase their research impact and share their work with internal and external audiences – getting students excited about research through explaining it to young people. Enabling students to lead outreach – including Science Communication Masters and Postgraduate Certificate students – means that the university delivers more activities, reaching more schools and giving more school pupils the chance to participate.

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The brainchild of UWE Bristol staff Mandy Bancroft and John Lanham, the development stages of the project have been led by Debbie Lewis and Corra Boushel from the Faculty for Health and Applied Science and the Science Communication Unit with support from Laura Fogg Rogers. The project is now being expanded into a university-wide strategy with cross-faculty support to cover all subject areas, not only STEM.

Katherine Bourne is another student in the SCU, studying towards a PGCert in Science Communication whilst also working on the BoxEd project. She has been involved with promoting BoxEd to current MSc students who will develop new activities to go into schools as part of their Science in Public Spaces module, run by Emma Weitkamp and Erik Stengler. Special thanks go to Kath, as well as to Jack Bevan, a graduate intern also employed on the project and the Student Ambassadors involved with delivering the sessions in schools.