BIG Home page


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 award is to recognise 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 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. 

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)
  • 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 (worth £290).
*Payments will be made in pounds sterling only.

Selection Panel

The award's Selection Panel will consist of two members of the Organising Committee (below), a representative from BIG's Executive Committee, the previous year's winner, 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, HW Consult.

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 Wednesday 1 May 2019, 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 recognising the Beetlestone Award, in a relevant publication – whether in print or online.
  • the opportunity to sit on the selection panel for the following year.

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.

Previous Winners

Find out more about previous winners of the prestigious Beetlestone Award here.
© BIG STEM Communicators Network

BIG: the skills sharing network for STEM

Contact BIG by emailing admin @ big dot uk dot com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software