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Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.

by Katherine Mathieson

This week sees the launch of Calls of the wild, a new mass participation experiment as part of National Science & Engineering Week 2013, which asks members of the public to contribute to psychologists’ understanding about how noises from nature can affect mood. National Science & Engineering Week has a rich tradition of interesting and popular mass participation experiments, where ordinary people can contribute to building the body of knowledge that we call science.

Alongside the preparations for the Calls of the wild experiment, there seems to be a wave of interest in ‘Citizen science’ projects, in which members of the public actively collect or analyse research data.

By Sue Hordijenko

Our recent evaluation of the Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre, which helps policy makers to understand and use public dialogue to inspire, inform and improve policy decisions around science and technology, showed that some projects undertaken would have benefited from including data from previous public engagement on the topics.

George Osborne speaking at the Royal Society last November

So, over the next few months we’re going to focus on gathering ‘social intelligence’ on a range of areas in science and technology.  As I was recently asked whether social intelligence was the same as emotional intelligence I’d better just say that for the purposes of this piece of work our definition of social intelligence is what we know about public attitudes toward a particular subject, what the media has reported on that topic, and any significant buzz there has been about it on social networks.

By Farrah Nazir

After a crazy few months of planning and seeing through the British Science Festival in 2012, I decided to take a well-deserved break to Nepal, where I volunteered at an orphanage in Kathmandu. The orphanage is home to 26 children, ranging from age five to 17, and is supported by a UK based charity, Namaste - Children’s Homes Nepal. Organised by a couple of friends, Sarah Lawton and Dave Kerr, the charity pays the food bill for all 26 children, which is around £300 a month.

Adrian Fenton, Young People's Programme Manager at the British Science Association, reports from the 'Science and Mathematics Education: The Way Forward’ conference in Delhi.

Conservation charity Froglife have organised some of the most successful and engaging events to celebrate National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) in recent years. Sam Taylor, Deputy CEO and Communications Coordinator for Froglife, tells us their secret on how they have been so successful.Sam Taylor talking to some of our eager participants

Guest blogger David Chapman explains why the geologists' love of beer is more than just a stereotype...

As Christmas approaches, I'm thinking of what trick I can perform for our dinner guests this year. Previous tricks include making water boil at less than 100°C, (not) burning a £10 note and making fast-food ice cream using liquid nitrogen. It's great fun and always results in our guests talking about science. I feature demonstrations in my own work and so I'm always on the hunt for new ideas.

By happy coincidence, the British Science Association has launched the first stage of Get Set... Demonstrate: A nationwide search for the most exciting, thought-provoking and wow-factor inducing science demonstrations. I think I've covered the principle adjectives there. As a former teacher turned presenter, researching a new demonstration, practising and refining it remains an essential aspect of my own professional development. It opens the mind to alternative ways of communicating and explaining scientific concepts. Furthermore, I really enjoy watching new takes on old ideas; different teachers and presenters often have their own interpretations of well-known demos.

by Katherine Mathieson

Last week I went to a delicious event. The Royal Academy of Engineering hosted a one-off event called ‘Tasty spoons and drinkable clouds: the art of engineering’. Two unusual engineers discussed their adventures with materials and flavour.

The British Science Association was saddened to learn of the death of Honorary Fellow, Sir Patrick Moore. Tributes have flooded in to the inspirational and eccentric presenter – with scores of renowned scientists remembering Sir Patrick as one of the earliest influences encouraging them to pursue a career in science.

by Katherine Mathieson

I usually find failure an embarrassing topic: to be discussed quietly among friends or even kept secret. But at Nesta’s Failure Fest on 22nd November, failure was to be shared, talked about – even celebrated.