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What's happening at the British Science Association? September 2009

Ollie Christophers looks beyond the British Science Festival


Traditionally, science and the arts haven’t been the most obvious bedfellows, but they are now set for an on-screen romance - thanks to the British Science Association Branches.

‘sciSCREEN’, a new series of events designed to forge links between science and the arts through the medium of film, has gone live across the country. It has proven so popular that some venues are already over subscribed.

Following a simple format, the group watch a film screening and then lead onto a facilitated discussion about how the science represented in the film can affect our everyday lives in the real world.

With films such as The Constant Gardener, Eternal Sunshire of the Spotless Mind and Inherit the Wind, sciSCREEN uses an engaging medium to illustrate lively discussions on issues ranging from aliens to autism.

Events are currently being run by branches in London, Reading, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Find out more at

Science for All

The Science for All group is one of five set up by the government to follow up the earlier consultation on Science and Society. Chaired by our Chief Executive, Roland Jackson, the Science for All group has been charged with the valiant task of 'creating a culture where the value of science to society is understood and respected, and where public engagement activity by science, business, academia and policy is valued, recognised and rewarded'.

The group met in early July and will meet again in late September. It is taking forward seven areas of work and would welcome comments via the website at ‘This initiative gives us a unique opportunity, as a community of people and organisations concerned with public engagement with science, to help build the vision of a more mature relationship between science, policy and society,’ said Roland.

NSEW 2010 theme unveiled

The 2010 theme for National Science and Engineering Week has been revealed as ‘Earth’. This wide-ranging topic gives scope for all areas of the science and engineering community to arrange interesting and engaging events for all age groups. With 2010 being the International Year of Biodiversity, Earth was the natural choice.

Science in Society

This autumn sees the culmination you don’t mean they’re finishing for good, do you? – culmination ‘for this year’? of two of our Science in Society schemes, organised by the same team from the British Science Association who brought you the massively triumphant Science Communication Conference.

Perspectives. A communications competition using the medium of posters to convey the social implications of valuable research projects to the public will be judged at the British Science Festival. After months of hard work, the entrants will exhibit their work in a gallery and use the visual display to aid them in a discussion of the wider implications of their research in society.

Media Fellowships. This scheme has been developed to create a greater awareness and understanding of the workings of the media among practising scientists, social scientists, clinicians and engineers.

The Fellowships provide placements of between three and eight weeks working with a national journalist, during which they will also attend the British Science Festival in the press centre and write their own articles.

To take part next year, visit

Best of the CREST

Did you do a CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology) award? Where are you now? In the 23 years the awards scheme has been running it has helped thousands of students to achieve recognition for their scientific endeavours. We are now looking to hear from previous CREST participants to see where they are now and what they have gone on to achieve after CREST.

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