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  • 02 Mar 2023 9:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Applications and nominations are now open for this year's Beetlestone Award.

    For full details of the award, and how to apply or nominate, visit

  • 09 Nov 2022 11:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have been very busy behind the scenes and can now announce that booking is open for both The Little Event and our next Skills Day, both taking place in January 2023.

    Visit our Event Calendar page, found under 'BOOK AN EVENT' to learn more about the fantastic programmes and wonderful speakers that we have in store for you.

    Additionally, applications are now open for our bursary places at The Little Event. 

    As always, we need our Members to help spread the word about our Events, so please share amongst your networks.

  • 22 Sep 2022 2:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sign up here ➡️

    The Public Engagement Trainers (PET) Network are having our second event on the 13th October 2022. It will be an online swap shop where a panel of professionals share some training tips and insights gained from their experiences of working in Public Engagement and Science Communication.

    * What are the experiences of a University PE training manager?
    * What are some of the current theories and best practices in training?
    * How can we incorporate experiential learning opportunities?
    * How can we involve different ‘publics’?
    * What can be done to help public speakers be more engaging?

    In swapping/sharing our diverse experiences, lessons and top tips, we aim to help grow and fortify the collective knowledge and skill base of the PE training community.

    #training #share #network Come along to listen, learn and share amongst colleagues with varied but overlapping interests in PE training. This session is for science communication and PE trainers, whether in Universities or external, such as freelancers or training companies. It will also be valuable to University PEPs (PE practitioners), and anyone interested in finding new areas in which to target improvement of their Science Communication and PE practices.

    Your Speakers are:

    * Dee Davison, Public Engagement Manager, Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh
    * Sarah Sisson, Sphere Science Public Engagement training
    * Jon Chase, Project Scientist, GlobalSCAPE project, Leiden University, Netherlands
    * Dr Lorraine Coghill, Science Outreach & Engagement Specialist, Durham University & The Ogden Trust
    * Martin Khechara, Associate Professor for Engagement in STEM, University of Wolverhampton

    Date: 13th October 2022
    Time: 13:00-15:30 UK Time
    Location: Online via Zoom
    Cost: Free

    Details and registration can be found here -

    The PET network is a member-led network, currently being supported by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagment (NCCPE) in collaboration with the BIG STEM Communicators Network.

  • 06 Jul 2022 2:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Now is the time to throw your hat in the ring - enter this year’s Best Demo Competition while you're at the BIG Event.

    The Best Demo Competition is put on by the members, for the members, and presents a lighthearted look at some of the demos you think are worth sharing. It invites you to demonstrate the maths, science, engineering and so on that really lights your fire and you just can’t help but show off to your peers. You have up to three minutes, a warm and welcoming audience and more eager volunteers than you could ever wish for.

    Maybe you’ll be going home with the prestigious Best Demo Award to display on your desk, in your shed or sliding across the dashboard of your van.

    There's no money to win; it's not an Oscar; and it's not a Nobel Prize. But within BIG we think it's worth having because it’s worth joining in.

    The Competition takes place 5pm Thursday 14 July in the Lecture Theatre as part of the BIG Event at W5 in Belfast. Anyone attending* the BIG Event can join the running order. The competition is not scary, intimidating or harsh in any way – the main purpose is to enjoy what we do.

    It’s very simple: demos presenting STEM subject matter must be no longer than 3 minutes**; you must bring all of the equipment you need; you must provide a risk assessment and you must sign up in advance.


    Please email Ashley Kent with

    your name

    short demo title

    50-80 word description of the demo

    a brief list of the equipment you intend to use

    a completed risk assessment

    This information is for the venue and event organisers only and will not be published. Your entry is not considered final until all of the above has been received and acknowledged via email.


    More detail about the BIG Event can be found on BIG’s website at BIG Event 2022

    If you have any questions about the format, structure, or need a bit of support in putting your entry together, please contact:

    Ashley Kent, BIG Event Organiser,

    * Have you not signed up to come to the BIG Event yet? Don't worry, there is still time! See details here: BIG Event 2022

    **Don’t drag it out - if it's a 30 second demo, take 30 seconds

  • 21 Jun 2022 12:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BIG is a membership organisation run by and for its members. We have a committee in place to steer the future of BIG and to keep it relevant to the needs and requirements of you - our members. 

    The Executive Committee comprises of the following positions: ChairVice-ChairTreasurerSecretary and two General Officers (without portfolio). All positions are open to nomination each year and we are now looking to appoint for 2022/23.

    All nominees must be current BIG members. You can see our current committee members here.

    We would like to invite nominations by FRIDAY 1st JULY 2022

    To apply for a position, members are required to complete a nomination form.

    You can nominate yourself for more than one role. In the event that a candidate  is elected to more than one position, the candidate will be encouraged to accept the more senior position and withdraw from the other so that the person with the next highest vote can fill the then-vacant position.

    You need a member of BIG to second you for your nomination. We can help you with this if required.

    In July, voting opens up to the BIG membership with the results and appointment to each position being announced at the AGM, which will take place at The BIG Event on Thursday 14th July. You do not have to be present at the AGM to take up a position on the Executive Committee. 

    More details of the roles can be found here

    If you want to know more about any of the roles please email Helen Nightingale via and she will put you in touch with the relevant person.

    To nominate yourself please complete this form and email it to

    "I originally ran for the Exec Committee because I thought it would be a really great networking opportunity, and it was. But it was more than that. Not only did I get to see how a small, yet professional organisation ran from the inside, but I also got a lot of experience I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I was pretty new to science communication but was working at an experienced science centre. Being on BIG’s Executive Committee allowed me to spread my wings and stand on my own two feet – faster than I would have been able to otherwise.

    Secretary was a great position, too. Taking the minutes means you are responsible for keeping the actions of meetings clear and concise. Meetings only happen a few times a year, so it’s never too much work at any time. It was a great experience for me and I really can’t recommend it enough." 

    - Ashley Kent, former BIG Secretary and current Event Manager

    "Having been a BIG member for a long time and gained a lot from the networking opportunities I was keen to stand on the exec committee to give something back to the organisation. I acted as a General Officer, Vice-Chair and Chair and always enjoyed the experience. 

    Working with colleagues to produce a programme of events and hearing the insights of others was personally and professionally rewarding. Clients are impressed that I know and have worked with so many people and have a good understanding of the challenges and delights of working in science communication. 

    Commitment to the exec was never too onerous and I’d encourage others to get involved. Make BIG work even harder to do what you want it to do by being part of the team running it!"

    James Piercy, BIG Chair

  • 27 May 2022 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we prepare to return for our first in-person BIG Event since 2019, we are more than just a little excited to now reveal the full programme.

    From Wednesday 13th to Friday 15th July, we will be presenting and hosting more than 30 sessions across a variety of topics and themes.

    As ever, we are very proud to have contributions from many BIG Members, making this an invaluable, not-to-be-missed event!

    You can view the full programme here:
  • 08 Apr 2022 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're hosting this month's Sci Comm Social on 21st April. Sign up to receive the Zoom details here
    Besides our general socialising, we'll also be chatting about the Josh Award.
    Anyone is welcome to join, so why not introduce someone new to join in this month. The more the merrier!

  • 05 Apr 2022 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Volunteer in the MakerShack at Cheltenham Science Festival

    Cheltenham Science Festival are looking for a whole host of volunteers to join the MakerShack 2022 team, from makers, designers, hobbyists to complete making novices.
    If you have an activity you would like to run in the MakerShack, or even if you can only volunteer for a day, please show your interest by filling out this form. If you have any questions, please contact Olivia at

    The dates for this year's festival are Tuesday 7th to Sunday 12th June, 2022. 

    The MakerShack is open from 10am to 5pm, volunteers usually start 9:00am and finish at 6pm at the latest, usually you finish at 5:15pm. You might be running a making station, helping a maker or researcher run a making activity.

    If you are based far from Cheltenham, fear not, accommodation will be available for all successful applicants, along with a tasty daily food allowance.

    The Festival also needs some general festival volunteers too, which you can apply for here:

    As a volunteer you get brilliant backstage access to the festival, meet loads of great people, and gain experience in festivals/events. 

  • 17 Mar 2022 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The BIG Event 2022 is the annual STEM Communicators’ conference, this year in-person and hosted by W5, Belfast, Northern Ireland from Wed 13 - Fri 15 July 2022.

    Early Bird booking is now open:

    The in-person BIG Event is back!

    The BIG Event is a three day get-together every summer to share skills and experiences, develop professional links and keep up-to-date with the STEM engagement field. This is the place to hone your skills and recharge your professional batteries, pick up great ideas and show off your talent to your peers.

    It provides an unmissable opportunity to squeeze the skills and ideas out of all the STEM engagement people you can in a short space of time. It’s like power juice for STEM communicators. You can read all the detail about the conference and book you space here

    Don’t forget – the Early Bird rate is cheaper, but it doesn’t last forever, so book your place now and save some money! BIG’s also arranged discounts on some Belfast hotels, see the offers here:

    Any questions, just ask Ashley on

  • 09 Mar 2022 10:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    *Malcolm Love would like to offer BIG Members the special price of £500 for his mid-week training retreat, which includes food and accommodation alongside this very beneficial course.* 

    Simply select the BIG Discount button at checkout.

    Public engagement skills training retreat by the sea 23rd - 24th march 2022

    Who will benefit from this course? 

    The course is very suitable for engineers, researchers, academics, explainers and others who need to engage more effectively with the public - whether in front of a live audience or via the media.  

    How is the course designed?  

    The 2-day workshop retreat is deliberately limited to 12 delegates.  This allows for an interactive style of training, more intensive feedback on exercises, and more focus on individual concerns.  The course will run from 11am to 6pm on the 23rd and 9am to 3.30 pm on the 24th.

    At the completion of this course you will have:

    • Learned how to connect with your audience
    • Enhanced your ‘body language’ - movement, gestures and voice
    • Revolutionised your content via the power of story-telling
    • Gathered many top tips from top-communicators
    • Discovered effective ways to create and prepare both your material and yourself
    • Learned how to give a great interview to the media
    • Built your confidence and learned how to cope with ‘performance anxieties’

    Who is Malcolm Love?

    Formerly a senior producer (programme maker) at the BBC, Malcolm is a visiting lecturer in Public Engagement at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.  He is an independent media producer, radio presenter, and public communication skills coach.  He has more than 25 years experience in delivering skill building workshops and masterclasses around the world in over 40 countries.  His clients include NASA, CERN, ESA, British Academy, FENS (Representing European Neuroscience) and numerous universities and institutions. Malcolm specialises in public engagement skills and also coaches people in business, politics and the charity sector.  He was part of the team that created Famelab International and was responsible for developing the 'Famelab masterclass’. 

    Malcolm lives in the North of England with his partner Becky and together they manage their company Solid Gold Hat Ltd.

    You can read about Malcolm's key areas of training here.

    You can read his testimonials here.

    What are the costs?  

    The total cost for the course is £800 pp. 

    This includes accommodation (single room occupancy), dinner on 23rd, breakfast on 24th, lunch both days, refreshments during training sessions.

    The number of places on this course are limited to ensure personal feedback. Your booking confirmation and full details of the course content and directions will be forwarded to you by email.

    Do contact us at to find out more, reserve a place or for any queries.  You can also visit the website for information and booking. 


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