This year's Josh Award 2019 winners, Ben Nicholson and Frederike Gerstner being presented with their trophy at the BIG Event in Edinburgh by Judith Baird from the Science & Industry Museum, and Helen Featherstone, Chair of BIG.
Exhibit Prototyping: Skills Days for BEGINNERS, 2 days
1-2 October 2019, 10am -7pm both days
Do you have an idea for an exhibit or demo that you'd like to make, but feel that you don't have the confidence, the skills or the facilities to make it? In this two day skills event, we'll show you how to use hand tools and woodworking machines to turn your idea into a useful prototype.
In this Skills Day offering, we’ll spend two days in the workshop of the Edinburgh Tool Library working on our own projects. This event is aimed at people with little or no workshop experience, but independent working will be required. There will be experienced staff available to help you get the most out of the workshop and the two days. (If you already have some experience, check out our Intermediate-level event in July.)
The workshop is equipped for woodworking; drilling and hand-sawing metal is also possible. Don't worry if you haven't used some or all of the woodworking machines before - everyone will be given an induction on safety and machines’ capabilities.
Preparation: Although this event is aimed at people with minimal experience, everyone should come with an exhibit or a demo idea in mind. You'll get the most out of the event if you do as much of the thinking as possible beforehand, so that you can get stuck into making straight away. We will discuss your idea with you in advance so that we can advise on any details that you're unsure of. This will help you arrive with an idea that has the best chance of being completed in the time available.
In addition to tools and machines, we'll provide the basics: a collection of reclaimed timber, wood screws, and all the tools you'll need. For other materials and components, Screwfix and B&Q are not far away, but it will save you time if you do your shopping in advance.
About the session leader: Ben Craven
Ben is a vision scientist by training, but now makes his living teaching Product Design Engineering at Glasgow School of Art, and gentle maths and stats for the Open University. He also does freelance work in informal science communication, and arranges efficient networking events.
Find out more or BOOK HERE
£100 for members, £130 for non-members (Lunch is on your own)
We are recruiting for a freelance Membership Services Manager for an initial 3-year period starting this September. The time commitment will be approximately 8 hours a week worked flexibly and according to the needs of our organisation. Visit www.big.uk.com/jobs for more info
The Beetlestone* Award Committee is delighted to announce that for 2019 this prestigious Award which recognises “leadership and legacy in the field of informal science learning” is being given not once, but twice. Such was the field of candidates that the Committee decided that two people – contributing to the field in very different ways – both deserve an Award. Exceptionally, therefore, two Awards are being given. This is not a question of ‘sharing the prize’; each recipient is equally deserving of full recognition.
Helen Featherstone is Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath, and the current chair of BIG. She has also worked in science centres and as an independent consultant and researcher. The assessors felt that “her many expert contributions to the field and her enthusiastic advocacy” have already “built a solid legacy which will continue to facilitate the sharing of expertise and raise standards in public engagement with science.”
Ian Russell runs his own company, Interactive Science Ltd., and is both a science communicator and an exhibit designer. The assessors pointed out that he has “forged his own brand both nationally and internationally, and is widely respected”, and added that“his seemingly inborn spirit and drive to share the joy of science is beyond admirable”. These qualities have inspired generations of young people and many other professional communicators – a significant legacy.
Colin Johnson, chair of the Beetlestone Award Committee, says “In this second year of the Award we received another impressive field of candidates, and I am delighted that we are able to recognise the very significant contributions that, in their different ways, both Helen and Ian are making to the field. My very warmest congratulations to them both.”
Each Award carries a personal cash prize of £500, an additional bursary to facilitate dissemination of the holder’s vision and legacy (which is an obligation on the awardee) and free registration for the next BIG conference. The next call for applications/nominations will be early in 2020 and you can find out more here.
*John Beetlestone (1932-2017) was the founding director of Techniquest, the UK’s first purpose-built science discovery centre. This Award has been made possible through the generosity of his family and friends.
We'd like to invite you all to come and tell your uplifting, sad and sometimes laughable tales of when scicomm stops being polite...and starts getting real. We will be creating a safe space where you can share your stories, either anonymously in advance or in person. You might be a complete newbie, someone with decades of experience, or anywhere in between. All are welcome, including non-BIG delegates. The event is FREE and there will be snacks and drinks available for purchase.
Tuesday, 16th July, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR. 6pm for 6:30pm-9pm
Speakers include, but are not limited to:
There will also be walk-up slots available on the night.
Email if you'd like to submit a story anonymously to be read on your behalf.
Deadline for applications: 15th May, 11:59pm
BIG is offering a few bursary places to attend the BIG Event in July. This is ideal for people working in and around science communication, who think they might benefit from making some more professional friends by attending BIG’s three-day annual conference in Edinburgh.
The bursary covers registration fees to attend the BIG Event 17-19 July at Dynamic Earth, plus limited travel and accommodation support. BIG members who are in the first five years of their professional career and have not attended a previous BIG Event are eligible to apply. If you’re not a member of BIG, don’t let that stand in your way – join at www.big.uk.com
If you fit this bill, then we’d love you to apply for a bursary to come along. The BIG Event brings together 150+ STEM engagement professionals from across the UK and beyond to help you build your skills, grow your contacts and explore what’s working for others in your field of work.
You can read all the detail about the conference and the bursary application process here.
Don’t forget – you must be a BIG member to apply so leave time to join if you aren’t a member already.
To apply for the Bursary click here.
There are just 5 working days left to claim the early bird discount on attending this year’s BIG Event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. Save a whole £40 on the conference fee if you register before 23th April (and then pay by the end of the month)
The BIG Event 2019 is a three-day conference offering an unmissable opportunity to squeeze the skills and ideas out of all the STEM engagement people you can in a short space of time. The conference is relevant for designers, presenters, educators, students, front of house staff, evaluators, educationalists, funders, and anyone involved in public engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Many people working in the STEM engagement field have little opportunity to cross paths with their peers, so the BIG Event was designed with exactly this in mind.
More than 40 workshops, discussions, shows, and even a sprinkling of sessions that simply can’t be categorised. Find out more by viewing the draft programme online here.
A free event in partnership with the British Science Association
Wednesday 17th July 10am-12pm (BIG Event starts at 1pm for those attending)
The science engagement sector is increasingly talking about diversity, and the need to make our activities available and inclusive to as wider group of people as possible. Many of us working in science engagement are freelance, part of small organisations, or cater to a specific established audience – but there’s a role for us all to play as allies.
This event will explore how we can make better use of the facilities and resources we control to support equality, diversity and inclusion. The aim is to identify the actions we can all commit to doing to make a difference, and support diverse practitioners, organisations, and organisers even when they aren’t directly involved in our work.
Join us for a panel discussion and networking session to share practical actions that engagement managers, venues, event organisers, and presenters can use.
This event is FREE to attend and is open to everyone. BIG and the BSA are committed to ensuring that the event is accessible to everyone. If you need to confirm access needs before booking a place, please let us know on your booking form.
To find out more, click here.
15-16 July 2019, 10am -7pm both days
£100 for members, £130 for non-members
Lunch is not included
Do you have an idea for a demo or an exhibit that you've always wanted to prototype, but have never had the chance? Or would you just welcome the chance to do some Sci-Comm-related making in the company of other BIG members? Then you might enjoy our Exhibit Prototyping Skills Days.
Click here for more information
It’s time to cast your nominations for the two major awards in Sci Comm, each recognising an individual, at different stages of their careers, who’ve made a significant difference to the industry.
The Josh Award is the UK’s national Award in science communication, established to recognise and encourage early professional career, talented innovation and creativity in science communication and engagement. The Award is inspired by and named in memory of Josh Phillips who was the first Science Communication Officer at the Museum of Science and Industry and also Chair of BIG at the time his passing. The Award provides the opportunity to become resident science communicator at the Manchester Science Festival 2019. To find out more, please visit here.
The Beetlestone Award is now in its second year and was established to recognise leadership and legacy in the field of ‘informal science learning’ (in memory of Professor John Beetlestone, the founding Director of Techniquest Science Discovery Centre. To be considered for this Award, nominees must be actively engaged and well-established in the field of ISL. They must be currently in a leadership role in the UK and able to demonstrate strategic vision and the creation of a legacy. You may nominate yourself or someone else for this Award by Wednesday 1 May 2019. For more information, please visit here.
BIG: the skills sharing network for STEM
Contact BIG by emailing admin @ big dot uk dot com