The Beetlestone* Award Committee, in partnership with BIG, is delighted to announce that the first winner of this prestigious Award which recognises “leadership and legacy in the field of informal science learning”, is Stephen Pizzey of Science Projects Ltd and the Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux.
Steve was one of the very first people in the UK to be involved in hands-on science exhibitions. His travelling Discovery Dome in the mid-1980s was a prototype for many similar ventures which have followed. After a career in industry Steve joined the Science Museum and in due course became the Deputy Director involved in setting up what is now known as the Media Museum in Bradford. He established his own company with charitable status, Science Projects Ltd, in 1987 and the exhibits designed and built there are now to be found in science centres and museums around the world. Science Projects is also responsible for the science centre at the Herstmonceux, which for many years was the host to the BIG Event. Steve was also the holder of a NESTA Fellowship to study ‘Science in the Landscape’ – a continuing passion.
Colin Johnson, chair of the Beetlestone Award Committee, says “It is no exaggeration to say that BIG itself and the science centre network as it now exists in the UK, owes much to Steve Pizzey’s pioneering and sustained efforts to ‘bring science to the people’ and to bring together those who practise that profession. Steve’s 40+ years of devotion to informal science learning, and his important tangible legacy, are indeed worthy of this first Award.” He adds “We received a number of other very impressive nominations for this Award, so we can look forward to the future of the scheme with confidence. The next call for applications/nominations will be early in 2019.”
The 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.
*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.