The BSA and 3M as Strategic Partners

The British Science Association (BSA) is proud to continue its strategic partnership with global materials-science-based company, 3M.

Strategic Partners of the BSA are organisations that champion a number of our leading programmes, helping us to reach different audiences and to achieve our core mission and vision - a future where science is more relevant, representative, and connected to society.

3M unlocks the power of people, ideas, and science to reimagine what’s possible. Its scientists and engineers collaborate to develop products that improve lives and create solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. The company shares the BSA’s passion to inspire young people’s interest in science and show how it can shape a better world for us all.    

British Science Week

3M is a Headline Partner of British Science Week and has been a leading supporter since 2016. Its collaboration has helped to enhance the ten-day event as a national celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

British Science Week provides a platform to stimulate and support teachers, STEM professionals, science communicators and the general public to produce and participate in STEM events and activities for people of all ages. Together, the BSA and 3M launched the Smashing Stereotypes campaign in British Science Week 2020. This challenges misconceptions about who scientists are, what they look like, and what they do, aiming to banish the lone-working, white, male genius stereotype.  

The campaign features, among others, 3M employees and teams, sharing stories about their day-to-day work, highlighting the importance of diversity in the STEM workforce, and celebrating the variety of people and exciting roles available in science and engineering. Each year additional profiles are added to strengthen the impact of the campaign, helping to inspire the next generation of creative minds.  

3M Visiting Wizards

As part of British Science Week celebrations, 3M STEM Ambassadors will visit primary schools around the UK to deliver fun, interactive science workshops. They’ll be introducing the principles of observation and creative thinking whilst engaging the pupils in hands-on activities to demonstrate topics such as forensic science and data collection and analysis. These tangible experiences can help to spark an interest in early development that could shape future subject choices and career aspirations.   


Youth Voice on science and society

In recent years the BSA has worked to better understand the views of young people (14-to-19-year-olds) in relation to science and technology topics that will impact their futures. This has been achieved through polls and a series of Future Forums. Future Forums is a deliberative dialogue programme that gives young people an opportunity to have their voices heard through dialogue workshops and surveys. Their views are then fed back to policy makers, funders and stakeholders to help inform their decision-making.

Our strategic partnership with 3M will enable the BSA to consolidate the results of this important Youth Voice initiative and develop a new section of our website in 2023 to promote the findings, thus bringing young people’s insightful opinions on science and society to the forefront.

Working together to create greater equity

The BSA believes that science should be open to everyone, regardless of gender, background or experience, but we know there are barriers to equality in many areas of UK society, culture and work.

It is a widely accepted fact, whether in the corporate world or the research laboratory, that diversity drives innovation. Without creative thinking we are biased, and this can hamper progress. By helping to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science we can play a part in supporting scientific discovery and society more broadly.

3M is committed to creating greater equity in its communities, business practices and workplaces, working towards a global, education-focused goal of creating five million STEM and skilled trades learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by the end of 2025.

Each year 3M commissions an independent study that explores global attitudes towards science, the State of Science Index  The latest research shows that, in the UK, 88% of people believe women are a source of untapped STEM potential, so getting more women and girls into STEM is crucial if we are to address the challenges of today, and those of the future. 

 3M North Europe STEM Champion, Sarah Chapman will play a key role in the strategic partnership with the BSA as an inspirational speaker, role model and passionate advocate for women and girls in STEM.

We Need More STEM Role Models Who Are A Bit Less Brilliant | Sarah Chapman | TEDxSurreyUniversity - YouTube

Underrepresented Audiences Teacher Network

The BSA has formed a network of teachers in schools in challenging circumstances, or those with high proportions of students from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM.

The Underrepresented Audiences Teacher Network, comprising more than 1,500 schools across the UK, runs events, provides resources and bring teachers together to help share best practice and expertise.

3M will support the Network’s annual conference in July/August 2023 through involvement in  raising awareness of and celebrating careers in the skilled trades.

We are pleased to continue our strategic partnership with 3M this year, helping to raise the profile of its unique education resources that encourage interest in science from an early age, and engaging 3M scientists and engineers in BSA programmes that support our shared ambition to put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of all that we do