I'm James Brown, Head of Festivals.

My work involves setting the strategy and overseeing the development and delivery of the British Science Festival (BSF) and chairing the UK Science Festivals Network (UKSFN) which consists of more than 40 festivals across the UK.

I lead the Festival Engagement team in ensuring that the British Science Festival is a vibrant and accessible festival which engages with diverse communities, especially those currently underrepresented in science.

I’m passionate about making research and innovation relevant for everyone and providing opportunities for science to be part of the cultural landscape. Through the UKSFN, we are able to share best practise, innovate new methods of engagement and advocate for the importance of a healthy science engagement sector.

Please do get in touch with me to discuss anything to do with the British Science Festival, public engagement with research or would like to find out more about the UKSFN.


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Valia Giannakaki - Events and Festivals Operations Manager - Headshot of young woman with short dark curly hair wearing a black cardigan

I'm Valia Giannakaki, Events and Festivals Operations Manager.

My work mostly involves managing the logistical planning and delivery of the annual British Science Festival and the UK Science Festivals Network conference.

I specialise in environmental and social sustainability and have a passion for making the BSA’s events greener and more accessible each year.

I also oversee the recruitment for our temporary Festival Assistant positions, focusing on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and providing pathways to employment for people without much experience or those who are underrepresented in the events sector.

Please get in touch if you have ideas on how to improve our event operations, would like to get involved in running next year’s British Science Festival, or are interested in all the Health & Safety work we did to be able to deliver an in-person festival in 2021!


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Credit: Jack Powley Photography 

I'm Emery Howarth, Festival Engagement Manager.

I mostly work on the British Science Festival, overseeing the management of the programming, from the initial planning phase to the post-festival evaluation (and all the bits in between!).

I'm also involved in a number of related projects such as the British Science Festival Community Grants and the UK Science Festival Network (UKSFN) Making Connections programme - working to engage a variety of different audiences with these programmes.

Ask me anything about the British Science Festival programme, engagement, and participation. Always happy to chat. 


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Headshot of Louise Cooke

I'm Louise Cooke, Festival Engagement Officer.

I work on developing the programme for the British Science Festival and aiding its delivery. This includes engaging with a variety of audiences with the Festival and monitoring Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion practises within the wider sector.

My role also involves bringing festivals together as a community of practice as part of our UK Science Festivals Network (UKSFN). Through this, we coordinate various projects and events to support our members, such as our annual conference and the Making Connections project.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you are interested in joining the UKSFN, are curious about the British Science Festival, or have an opportunity for science festivals that you would like us to shout about! 


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Community Engagement 

I'm Kate Orchard, Head of Community Engagement. 

I lead our Community Engagement team to co-create exciting Community Engagement Programmes designed to support diverse communities and inspire them to engage with science and research sector. We put inclusivity and accessibility at the heart of what we do. Importantly, we want to celebrate the talent, skills and insight of communities and provide opportunities for them to help shape the programmes we deliver.

Our current Community Engagement programmes include the Community Leaders and Buddies programme which use principles of community organising to link researchers with community group leaders. In addition to, the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grant, and a new Community Engagement Pilot testing out approaches to place-based, community-led research. Please do join our Community Engagement Network to stay updated on the BSA’s work with community groups.

Do get in touch if you are interested in discovering more about our Community Engagement Programmes, or would like to explore partnership opportunities and collaborations. 


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I’m Kareem Dayes, Community Engagement Manager. 

I mostly work on increasing the BSA’s engagement with grassroots community organisations and communities under-served by science and research. I also work on helping to grow the BSA’s Community engagement programmes portfolio and support the BSA’s Community Engagement Network. 

I have 15 years’ experience working as a community organiser and social entrepreneur building power for positive social change. Currently I’m really interested in cybernetics, machine learning and the power of data. My heritage is mixed Black Afro-Caribbean and White British and I have experienced first hand how science and maths can seem inaccessible or ‘not for you’. I’m deeply motivated to join the efforts to challenge and change these kinds of perceptions within society.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about our existing programmes or if you have an idea for a community-led science project you’d like to explore.


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I’m Heather Thomas, Community Engagement Officer.

I work on the BSA's ongoing community engagement projects, including the British Science Week Community grants, the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grant and the Community Led Research Pilot, whilst also supporting the wider Community Engagement Network.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about our community engagement work or if you’d like to join the Network!


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