London SciComm Socials Symposium 2017

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Perrin Lecture Theatre

Blizard Institute

4 Newark Street


E1 2AT

United Kingdom

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In September 2015 we started the London SciComm Socials as a chance for science communicators* from across London to get together. Last year we held our first ever symposium and over 140 people from across the UK joined us to share their work and their ideas.

On Thursday 11th May 2017 we are doing it all again, only BIGGER, BETTER, and in East London...

This year we are partnering with the QMUL Centre for Public Engagement (CPE), and Centre of the Cell.

QMUL’s Centre of the Cell (www.centreofthecell.org) is a unique science education centre translating scientific research into innovative science communication tools and activities. It is the first science education centre in the world to be located within working biomedical research laboratories.

* We’ve met academics from a range of subjects (not all science!), teachers, learned society staff, people who co-ordinate public engagement in universities, social media people, TV presenters, podcasters, writers, performers, documentary film makers, comedians, press officers, scicomm students, bloggers, historians of science, museum folk and we want to meet even more people!

Event Details:

We’ve tried to create sessions that reflect the community that have come to the London SciComm Socials so far, while also listening to the feedback we received following the previous symposium.

Last year you told us you wanted more opportunities to network, so this year Centre of the Cell will be offering special mini-tours for symposium attendees - a perfect opportunity to see inside a science education centre and get to know your fellow symposium attendees better.

9.30am - 10.15am: Registration

10.15am - 11.30am: Session 1: The Informal SciComm sector; what we do, how it works and how to get involved.

In this session we take a look at science culture, freelancing, and performance, with speakers from a range of different organisations and career levels.

11.30am - 12noon: Tea/coffee break and Centre of the Cell Tour

12noon - 1.15pm: Session 2: The Formal SciComm sector; what we do, how it works and how to get involved.

Join us as we explore the formal science communication sector; we will be looking at the relationships researchers can have with science centres, festivals, and their host universities.

1.15pm - 2.30pm: Lunch break and Centre of the Cell Tours

2.30pm - 4pm: Session 3: Broadening the participants and audiences for SciComm; how can we get past the usual suspects communicating with the usual suspects?

With help from communications professionals, performers, researchers, and public engagement support staff, we will be looking at how science communication and public engagement can broaden it's reach and become a more diverse sector.

4pm - 4.30pm: Closing Session.

A chance to relfect on the day, give us some feedback, and join us in thanking our collaborators.

6pm onwards.... London SciComm Social

From 6pm there will be a London SciComm Social, a chance to carry on the conversations from the day, and maybe even meet some new people. The London SciComm Socials are a chance to meet other people from in and around London who are interested in science communication and to share ideas.

The entire conference is operating on a no-fee, zero-budget basis. We are not paying anyone, including the organisers and speakers. We aren’t organising catering because the conference will take place surrounded by great places to get tea, coffee and food.

Tickets are free, but to book a place, we are asking people to donate £10 to charity. All the money we collect will go to The Stifford Centre, a char­ity based in Stepney Green whose mis­sion is to provide ser­vices to local people that will inspire them and provide them with optimum oppor­tun­it­ies to make pos­it­ive changes to their lives.

Our speakers include:

Mary-Clare Hallsworth is the Public Engagement Coordinator at Birkbeck, responsible for public engagement advice and support across the whole institution. She works with academic staff and students at all levels to nurture a culture of high quality public engagement linked to research. She regularly works with partner organisations, funders and learned societies to support academics based at Birkbeck. Mary-Clare is also the brains behind the London SciComm Socials, and the London Public Engagement Network (PEN).

Steve Cross is a Wellcome Engagement Fellow and formerly Head of Public Engagement at UCL (University College London). Steve works with organisations across Europe to advise on public engagement strategy, and the importance of embedding public engagement support at all levels of an organisation. He has experience working with academic staff and students at all levels, across a wide range of subject areas. The creator of Bright Club and Science Showoff, and co-creator of the London SciComm Socials, Steve is also a freelance public engagement consultant, trainer, presenter and a comedian.

Kimberley Freeman is Executive Officer for Public Engagement, and Manager of the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Kimberley has worked in public engagement and science communication for the past eight years, having previously been Partnership Communications Manager at the Medical Research Council (MRC), Public Engagement Manager at UCL, based in UCL’s Public Engagement Unit, and Public Engagement and Publications Co-ordinator at The Royal College of Pathologists. Kimberley is the co-creator of the London Public Engagement Network (PEN), which provides professional networking and support for public engagement professionals in London, and the London SciComm Socials.

Emily Elias is a freelance journalist and podcast producer. Emily tells stories because she is bad at sports and algebra gives her an anxiety attack. She has worked in broadcast and journalism for nearly a decade, starting her career as a radio and television reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). She's worked for Monocle and ITN, and is currently slinging tape for ITV and hosts the University of Oxford's Big Questions Podcast. She delivers training on creating podcasts to universities, and has worked with universities across the UK to help them develop podcasts to share stories from their research. Emily has also been banned from a karaoke bar called Cheese Toast for being too good at singing.

Alex Lathbridge - Mixing samples in the lab by day and mixing samples in the studio by night, Alex mashes up science and hip-hop to make YouTube songs so catchy that epidemiologists describe them as "high risk". His goal: make research as fun and accessible as possible (and to complete his PhD before his funding runs out).

Aimee Eckert is a cell biology PhD student at the University of Sussex. When not studying the role of cell division in cancer, Aimee splits her remaining time between organising PubhD Brighton and performing science-based entertainment. She loves to entice science out of the ivory tower and into the local gin bar where new styles of science communication can be created, mixing different flavours of performance to create Brighton's most experimental cabaret: Dr. Jiggs Bowson's Charming Science Friends.

Katie Chambers is Head of Learning at Centre of the Cell, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Katie has worked in science communication and education for the past 12 years. After working at Techniquest and At-Bristol, Katie joined Centre of the Cell in 2005 as the Audience and Content Researcher and worked in the team designing the inside of the Pod. After an interlude working as a primary school teacher in London and Bangkok she returned to Centre of the Cell as Head of Learning in 2012.

Janet Stott is Deputy Director and Head of Public Engagement at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. After 10 years as a science teacher in London, Janet set up the education team at OUMNH in 1998, and has been there ever since. As a university museum they have extensive experience of public engagement with research and exploring new models of engagement. They recently worked with over 50 neuroscientists on the current exhibition Brain Diaries and the team are working with a further 150 in the accompanying programming.

Sheila Kanani is a planetary physicist, science presenter, secondary school physics teacher and space comedian with a background in astrophysics and astronomy research from UK universities. Her experience includes being an ambassador of science, public speaking, events organisation, science journalism and school visits. Sheila is currently the Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society in London.

Will Hunter splits his time between his role of managing Einstein's Garden at Green Man festival and supporting academics within the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit with public engagement efforts. He has a wide experience of working with academics, science communicators, performers and artists to bring science to life in fun and unusual ways.

Hana Ayoob is the Programme Manager for Cheltenham Science Festival, responsible for overseeing areas of the programme, finding and curating events, and leading on the Festival’s free off-site activities. Hana is also a mixed media artist, often found creating ridiculously intricate science-inspired drawings.

Katie Cresswell-Maynard is the Head of Education at Engineers Without Borders UK. She is responsible for the charity's work to inspire the next generations of engineers as well as providing education opportunities for engineers to develop globally responsible mindsets and competencies. Prior to working at Engineers Without Borders UK, Katie worked for global engineering consultancy firm Arup in the Energy, Cities and Climate Change team, where she provided advice to local governments and city networks about sustainable technologies and infrastructure.

Dom Galliano is the director of outreach at South East Physics Network (SEPnet). He has worked across industry, academia and the Institute of Physics (IOP). While at the IOP he managed projects such as the national Physics in the Field programme and Cheers Physics and was part of the IOP’s staff diversity committee. Since becoming director of outreach for SEPnet in early 2015 he has written a new strategy for the existing outreach programme which includes a greater emphasis on diversity and public engagement. He has also launched Shattering Stereotypes, a project looking at Gender Stereotyping in schools and how it affects subject choice. He is also helping the IOP’s diversity team form a strategy for supporting LGBT+ physicists.

Sophie Scott is a research scientist who investigates human communication and the human brain, with a particular emphasis on the neurobiological basis of vocal communication and how this can go wrong. She has pioneered the study of the human voice as a social signal, and has recently started to address the ways that non-verbal emotional expressions like laughter are used socially. She is based at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience UCL, where she is Deputy Director.

Holly Powell-Jones is a former radio and TV journalist and a relentless extrovert. She is doing a social science PhD at City, University of London researching teenagers and criminal behaviour on social media. She also teaches Media Law and Ethics, Criminology and New Media Challenges to undergraduates. In her spare time, Holly also designs and delivers media training for academics and is one of the organisers of PubhD London.

Hannah Cameron is a freelance technology and design consultant and practitioner. She trained and worked as a Landscape Architect for several years, before leaving to fulfil her dream to be a part of the maker movement. As Resident Designer at Fab Lab London, her projects have ranged from solving spatial solutions in house to working on life hacks for a CNBC tv series. She produces 3D printed jewellery and is one half of WeMake, an organisation that encourages women in makerspaces.

Dominic McDonald has been round the science communication block a few times over the last 20 years. He's worked in schools, Learned Societies, museums, and Research Councils. Along the way he's set up festivals, managed science centres, performed shows, run citizen science events, and freelanced as an event manager. He is currently Head of Education for the Royal Institution.

Emily Dawson is a Lecturer in Science Communication. Her work focuses on how people engage with, learn about and sometimes reject science, with an emphasis on equity and social justice. Her research explores how to disrupt rather than reproduce social disadvantages in relation to science education, engagement and communication. She is based in the UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies.

Russell Dornan works in Digital Engagement at Wellcome Collection. He looks after their digital presence, including social media channels. He’s responsible for commissioning and editing digital content and for developing digital projects related to exhibitions and other work carried out at Wellcome Collection. Russell is particularly interested in giving a platform to voices without one and using audience participation in creative or unexpected ways.

Natasha Simons is a science presenter and show developer with a background in Materials Science. She has developed shows and demonstrations for the Science Museum and the Royal Institution, works as a freelance presenter for Great Scott! Productions, and writes short demonstration videos for her YouTube channel Cracking Science. She worked most recently on the Royal Institution's 2016 Christmas Lectures contributing to the script, prototyping and building science demonstrations and setting fire to things on stage.

Arran Goodchild works for Big Bang and is responsible for over 150 STEM events across the UK, which this year alone engaged over 150,000 young people. The Big Bang Near Me Programme links into a four day mega event at the NEC every March which couldn't run without the fantastic STEM community and ambassadors. Arran would love to hear from you if you'd be interested in participating in any Big Bang events. Particularly the new Big Bang @ schools which excitingly brings the fair to the classroom, sports halls, assembly rooms, playground and labs. When not doing all that, Arran organises immersive theme nights in vintage clothes shops and has his very own smoke machine.

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Perrin Lecture Theatre

Blizard Institute

4 Newark Street


E1 2AT

United Kingdom

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