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Mental Exercises - British Science Association News June 2012

Coralie Young

The British Science Festival 2012
This year, the British Science Festival will be taking place in Aberdeen, from 4-9 September. The theme will be Energising Minds.

Coralie Young

The British Science Festival 2012
This year, the British Science Festival will be taking place in Aberdeen, from 4-9 September. The theme will be Energising Minds.

The Festival will feature hundreds of workshops, debates, displays and lectures over the six-day event, with activities taking place across the city. Many of the events are free to attend. Please call 08456 807 207 for information about booking tickets, or visit

Planet Under Pressure conference
The Young People’s Programme runs the very successful Youth Voice Programme, which saw 12 young people from around Britain taking part in the international Planet Under Pressure conference. The panel consisted of passionate young environmentalists, who addressed the 3000 delegates in the opening speeches of the conference, detailing what they felt were the most important environmental issues being discussed at the meeting.

The conference will report to Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, in June 2012. By involving young people in the Planet Under Pressure conference, we hope to bring fresh insight to how we look at many of the environmental issues we face today.

Young Scientist and Young Engineer of the Year
We are delighted with the outcome of another highly successful year for the National Science & Engineering Competition. Over 320 finalists exhibited their projects at the finals of the competition, held at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. Kirtana Vallabhaneni from West Kirby Grammar School was named Young Scientist of the Year, for her work helping to identify the harmful cells causing pancreatic cancer. The Young Engineers of the Year are the first team to win the award - see more details see Governement News.

Total attendance at the Big Bang Fair was 56,287, including 7000 exhibitors and competitors in the National Science & Engineering Competition, and nearly 50,000 general attenders. 483 school groups attended and 98.5 per cent of attenders rated the Fair as ‘quite’ or ‘very’ enjoyable.

Registration is now open for the regional heats of the 2012-2013 competition. Over 8000 participants have already registered; visit
nearme/new_near_me.cfm for more information on how to get involved.

Sciencewise ERC
The launch of National Science and Engineering Week saw some other exciting news, as Vince Cable, MP and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced the next three-year phase of the Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre for Public Dialogue in Science and Innovation (Sciencewise-ERC) programme. The British Science Association will be working in partnership with AEA Technology and Involve, to deliver the next three-year phase of the programme, which works to involve members of the public in consultation and policy development, on newly emerging science and technology issues.

The British Science Association will have a strong focus on policy analysis and information gathering, and will be working in close collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy. We will also be concentrating on the public interface, through our website and planned online public forums.

Collective Memory
The Science in Society team have launched the new Collective Memory project, which aims to bring together a library of examples of public engagement with the sciences. If you have a great project to share, or are just curious to see what others have learnt from their public engagement projects, visit to find out more.

National Science & Engineering Week
NSEW 2012 took place in March. The theme this year was Our World in Motion which inspired a huge range of organisations to do something for the week. Initial estimates suggest there were over 4,400 events and activities for all ages all over the UK. Evaluation is still underway and this figure is likely to increase.

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Coralie Young
Coralie Young is the British Science Association’s Communications Manager
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