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A new recognition for an Informal Science Learning professional

Professor John Beetlestone was one of the pioneers of ‘informal learning in science’ (ISL) of the 20th century. Are you, or someone you know, following in his footsteps?

This brand new Award is to recognize a senior person in the sector – someone still in post in the UK, not a retiree – who has already made or is clearly creating a significant legacy for the field.

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 have set up this Award scheme in his name. This Award has been made possible through the generosity of the Beetlestone family and other private donors.

The Prize

  • UK-wide recognition amongst your peers in the ISL field.
  • The Beetlestone Award trophy, held for one year.
  • A personal award of £500
  • A bursary of up to £500 to facilitate dissemination (see below)
  • A delegate place (worth £290) at the annual BIG Event (optional) - a 3-day conference to network with and present to a diverse range of STEM engagement professionals from across the sector.
Note: Payments will be made in pounds sterling only.

Selection Panel

For the first year of the Award, the Selection Panel will consist of three members of the Organising Committee, a representative of BIG, and Ken Gleason, Museum Consultant, Hands-on Science, Goldsboro, Maine, USA.

Organising Committee

  • Colin Johnson, Chair (Director, Techniquest, 1997-2004)
  • Ellis Jenkins CIPFA, Treasurer
  • Wendy Sadler, Director, science made simple
  • Sarah Vining, BIG STEM Communicators Network Executive Committee
  • Harry White, Science Centre Consultant, We The Curious, Bristol

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

How to Apply

Applications can be accepted in person, or through nomination by a third party by downloading the application form here.  Detailed guidance notes are available to download here.

The closing date for nominations and applications for this year’s Award is Tuesday 1 May 2018, so don’t delay!

Awardee Responsibilities

- to present, through a creative contribution to a conference, a 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 recognizing 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.

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