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THE BEETLESTONE AWARD

For leadership and legacy in Communicating Science

Come back soon to find out how to nominate for 2024!

Professor John Beetlestone was one of the pioneers of ‘informal learning in science’ of the 20th century. Are you, or someone you know, a leader in this field?

Since first starting in 2018this Award is to recognise a leader who has already made or is clearly creating a significant impact in communicating science.


Lewis Hou, centre, receiving the 2023 Beetlestone Award at The BIG Event in Birmingham's Thinktank.

L-R Debbie Syrop, Colin Johnson, Lewis Hou, Kirsty Hayward, Ken Gleason. 

All of the previous winners of

The Beetlestone Award

Find out more about previous winners of the prestigious Beetlestone Award here.

Our previous Beetlestone Award winners, from L-R, Top to Bottom, Bridget Holligan, Fran Balkwill, Helen Featherstone, Ian Russell, Karen Davies, Lewis Hou, Stephen Pizzey.

The Prize

UK-wide recognition amongst your peers in the ISL field.

The ingenious Beetlestone Award trophy, to keep.

A personal award of £500

Access to a bursary of up to £500 to facilitate dissemination (see below)

Your conference fee paid (should you wish to attend) to this year's BIG Event, a 3-day conference to network with and present to a diverse range of STEM engagement professionals from across the sector.

If you decide to nominate someone, you only have to complete a very short online form here https://forms.office.com/e/FF5cy2mKhN. References are not required.

How to Apply

Applications can be accepted in person, or through nomination by a third party. In either case the nominee will be asked to complete a written application. 

Nominations are limited to leaders working in the UK who are still in post; the Award is not offered to retirees.

Detailed guidance notes are available within the Application Process here Beetlestone Application & Guidance Notes

How to Nominate

If you decide to nominate someone, you only have to complete a very short online form here https://forms.office.com/e/FF5cy2mKhN References are not required.

The closing date for completed applications for this year’s Award is Monday 15th May, so don’t delay!

The Selection Panel will not enter into correspondence with applicants.  Submitting an application constitutes an acceptance that the Panel’s decision is final.

Awardee Responsibilities, if a bursary is claimed

To present – through a creative contribution to a conference, workshop or online resource – a description of the work for which the Award has been made, explaining its relevance and application to the wider field of ISL.

To share this information with the field, duly recognising the Beetlestone Award, in a relevant publication – whether in print or online.

The above presentation to take place within 12 months of the announcement of the Award, and the publication to appear no later than a further 12 months thereafter.

Selection Panel

The Selection Panel will include the Awardee(s) from the previous year, representatives from the Organising Committee and BIG, and Leonardo Alfonsi from PsiQuadro, Perugia, Italy.  It will be chaired this year by Harry White.

Organising Committee

Colin Johnson OBE - Chair Director, Techniquest, 1997-2004

Ian Hall -Treasurer

Wendy Sadler MBE, Director, science made simple

Debbie Syrop, Public Engagement Officer, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

Harry White, Science Centre Consultant, HW Consult

Professor John Beetlestone

Professor John Beetlestone (1932-2017) was the founding director of the UK’s first purpose-built science discovery centre, Techniquest in Cardiff. The centre was his idea, and he led it through three phases of development until his retirement in 1997.

In partnership with BIG, a small group of John Beetlestone’s former colleagues set up this Award scheme in his name in 2018. This Award has been made possible through the generosity of the Beetlestone family and other private donors. 



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