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  • 09 Oct 2018 12:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The UK science festival ecosystem is diverse and constantly evolving, but we rarely take the time to celebrate what we have achieved or to look ahead to some of the challenges and opportunities for the sector. This is where the UK Science Festivals Network come in - they bring together science festivals and non-science festivals with scientific content to consider the highs, lows and future of festival organisation and management.

    Following the success of the first UKSFN conference in Edinburgh last year, the UK Science Festivals Network are re-lighting the fire again, this time in Swansea on 21st November. Join them to discuss best practice in diversifying audiences and speakers, workshop new approaches to programming and learn what else is happening beyond the UK, amongst other topics. Most importantly, there will be plenty of opportunities to network and socialise with other conference attendees - if only it serves to reassure you that you're not alone in this crazy little science engagement bubble!

    Hosted by the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Please arrive at 9.30 for a 10.15 start, the day will end at 17.15. Delegates are also invited to a drinks reception from 17.15 onwards. The venue will not be open before 9.30 so do bear that in mind.

    Tickets + more info available here

  • 02 Oct 2018 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The National Forum for Public Engagement with STEM, a group that comprises Government, funders of STEM engagement across the UK, and the key national networks (ASDC, NCCPE, BSA) are hosting a national networking event on November 1st from 11am to 5.30pm in Central London.

    This event is aimed at:

    • Leaders and senior managers: people with responsibility for and oversight of public engagement in their organisation and who are involved in strategic decisions about how to allocate funding, evaluate impact and support involvement and staff / volunteer development
    • Experienced practitioners: people with a significant track record developing, delivering and evaluating public engagement, or researching the field, and who are committed to enhancing the quality of activity in the sector
    • Collaborators and intermediaries: people who work in intermediary roles and as brokers, helping to bridge between scientists and communities they hope to engage with

    The event will provide the opportunity to learn more about the activity of the National Forum and to feed into collective priorities moving forward. The event will focus on the following priority areas:

    • Improving models and approaches to funding;
    • Engaging underserved audiences;
    • Ensuring more effective evaluation;
    • Development and sharing of evidence, knowledge, resources and activity.

    Places are limited (and we may need to restrict to one per organisation). Please indicate your intention to attend by completing the expression of interest form by 12th October:


    The National Forum is a collective of key funders and organisations involved in setting the national agenda for public engagement in STEM. Established in 2014, our goal is to improve collaboration, co-operation and learning across the sector. We want to make better collective decisions and accelerate improvements across the science engagement system.  The Forum was established to help tackle sector-wide challenges that can’t be solved by people working in isolation. For instance, how to address the balance of our funding across different purposes and audiences for engagement; identifying priority areas for sustained public engagement; exploring how we can gather more useful intelligence on the long-term impact of our work; and better supporting professional development and recognition.

    You can find out more about our work here:

    If you can’t attend but would like to input into the Forum’s work moving forward we will shortly be circulating a sector survey. We want to hear from a wide range of people and professions, who are in some way involved in public engagement with STEM. This includes science journalists and writers, broadcasters, gamers, community practitioners, teachers and researchers. The full survey will be circulated shortly. 

  • 01 Oct 2018 9:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Autumn edition of the BIG Members' e-newsletter is now available to read here.


    • BIG Skills Day: How to develop training sessions 
    • I wrote this and thought of YOU!
    • A Tale of Two Villages (and two out of school activities..!)
    • 10% off Science Communication Masterclass!
    • Can you describe your PhD in a limerick? 
    • The Big Shiny 
    • Annual MathsJam Gathering Weekend 
    • Inaugural Diversity In Space Careers conference
    • BIG Member Profile: Paolo Arru
  • 06 Sep 2018 3:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As part of BIG's role in promoting excellence in science communication we are pleased to announce our latest skills day HOW TO DEVELOP A TRAINING SESSION on Wednesday 17th October, 2018 - 9.30-4.00pm at ThinkTank, Birmingham. Find out more here.

  • 21 Jul 2018 11:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Matthew Allen has been awarded the 2018 Josh Award for science communication. He is pictured here being presented with his award by Hannah Rose-Ford, a science communicator from the Museum of Science & Industry at the BIG Event in Winchester Science Centre. 

    The Josh Award was established to recognise and support up-and-coming talent in science communication. The award provides the opportunity to become the science communicator in residence at the Manchester Science Festival, developing and delivering a new project or event while showcasing best practice in the field of science communication.

    The winner receives support to nurture their development in the field and their involvement in the Manchester Science Festival from the Festival team, the University of Salford’s Science Communication cluster, and the BIG STEM Communicators Network.

  • 19 Jul 2018 11:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The winner of the 2018 Best Demo competition is Matthias Salewski from Physikanten.

  • 22 Jun 2018 9:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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.

  • 22 May 2018 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Interest in attending the BIG Event has been higher than ever before and has now SOLD OUT. There is a waiting list for those who may wish to attend should any last minute places become available at

  • 09 May 2018 2:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bursaries to attend #BIGEvent18 18-20 July at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium, plus limited travel and accommodation support ARE CLOSING SOON. Find out more and apply by 14 May.  http://www.hereherehere

  • 25 Apr 2018 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Deadline for applications: Monday 14th May, 11:59pm 

    Again this year, 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 conference in Winchester.  

    The bursary covers registration fees to attend the BIG Event 18-20 July at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium, 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  

     “It was my first time and I didn’t quite know what to expect but I really found it useful… Not only useful for work, it is nice to know so many people share similar passions” - 2014 bursary winner 

    If you fit this bill, then we’d love you to apply for a bursary to come along. The BIG Event is a three-day conference bringing 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. 

    The BIG Event Team  

    Register for the BIG Event -

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