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British Science Association news: December 2009

Ollie Christophers

Into perspective

Ms Gemma Webster, a PhD student from the University of Dundee, has won the British Science Association perspectives competition for her poster, ‘What's in a label?’

perspectives is a public engagement competition in which researchers funded by the UK Research Councils present and explore the social implications of their work.

Gemma’s project, supported by the EPSRC, deals with dementia. At first sight it’s a food label. It describes Helen, an 87-year old woman with dementia, in the terms of popular stereotype. ‘Directions: Place contents in a chair and move once or twice a day.  ‘Ingredients: awkward; demanding; irritating; forgetful.’ 

Gemma explains that it ‘aims to help staff see the whole person, not just the illness, and treat the person as an individual not simply a set of needs to service.’ Check your perspective at

Down to Earth

National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) 2010 is drawing ever closer and the creative juices at the British Science Association have been bubbling away behind our theme of ‘Earth’.

Drawing inspiration from the International Year of Biodiversity, we are preparing for an all out ‘Bio Blitz’ during NSEW to engage parents, schools and children in our annual celebration of the UK’s dedication to addressing the most topical science issues of our time.

Mud on your hands

The real success of NSEW comes from the involvement of our dedicated supporters, such as the readers of People & Science magazine. If you want to get involved with our ‘Earth’ theme, find out more at

Going out with a Bang!

Applications have closed; the entries have been counted and verified… We are now one step closer to revealing the winners of the 2010 National Science & Engineering Competition! The finalists’ letters are in the post and they will be soon be joining us at The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists’ & Engineers’ Fair in Manchester in March, followed by proud parents and satisfied schools.

The current winners, Peter Hatfield and Chris Jefferies, have enjoyed a fantastic year as the title holders and will soon be jetting off to NASA in the USA as part of their prize package, but the time to hand over the crown is rapidly approaching. For your chance to see the finalists battling it out for the ultimate prize, come along to The Big Bang on the 11-13 March 2010. For more information visit

Oil Aboard!

This year’s Festival was a fabulous success and plans are well under way for the 2010 British Science Festival. We will be visiting Birmingham in partnership with Aston University. We are delighted that the 2010 Festival will be supported by Advantage West Midlands and Saudi Aramco.

We are also delighted to announce that BP and Network Rail are now supporting CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology), alongside the Research Councils UK. CREST is the only nationally-recognised accreditation scheme for project work in the fields of science, technology engineering and maths. CREST enables students of all abilities to explore real scientific, engineering and technological problems for themselves and promotes work-related learning.

There are still lots of exciting sponsorship opportunities available for the Festival and CREST (and indeed for all our programmes), If you would like to find out more please contact Aoine Saunders, Corporate Partnerships Manager at or on 020 7019 4948

Branching Out

Following the success of the British Science Festival in Guildford, we are leaving behind a lasting legacy in the form of a brand new branch of the British Science Association. The new branch will be on the lookout to bring a range of events to the Guildford area all year round, to continue to engage the local community with science and engineering. For more information and details of how to join the branch visit

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Ollie Christophers
Ollie Christophers is the British Science Association’s Communications Officer
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