Harriet, Chair of the Nottingham branch of the BSA, gives an insight into what the Nottinghamshire volunteers have planned and accomplished.

I’ve been a member of the Nottingham branch since 2011 and became chair in Autumn 2015. Our branch runs several exciting events – in fact, I tend to spurprise myself whenever I list them. We run our annual Science Festival, Science in the Park, a monthly formal public lectures and less the formal SciBars in the local pubs. Lately we have also been taking part in the Future Debate series, for which we have run debates on both robotics and genomics.

What really impresses me is how engaged and involved our audiences are – there is such an appetite for knowledge and for 'thinking hard about stuff' in our area! Irealise this might sound odd, but I leave the events really optimistic about humanity.

Our next event is a panel discussion for the Science and Religion series. Our branch was really keen to get involved in this. When we run an event we try to elect (or appoint) a project manager who can oversee the event from start to finish. Not only does this make the planning more straightforward, and share the workload, it means that people can build up their CV and take on discreet projects according to their availability. For this event we immediately had people wanting to lead. Rohit Kondapally took on the project with enthusiasm and was bursting with ideas.  I’m keen on this too. The relationship between knowledge and communication in the two areas is something I often talk about with my friend from the Baha’i community.

With speakers lined up and ready to go, we are just about to start our planning our publicity strategy. On top of the usual posters, social media and website type stuff, we are just starting to get the hang of TV and radio. Tim and Amanda Lewis did a great job talking about Science in the Park – we even had a couple of crews filming on the day! And yes, I’ve had to face my fears and do some live radio too.

Our Nottinghamshire volunteers are a great bunch – they make it work. If you want to find out more about what we do then have a look at our site. And if you decide you want to join us, just drop us a message at nottsbsa@gmail.com