Introducing our 2015 Award Lecturers The British Science Association (BSA) is pleased to announce the winners of its prestigious Award Lectures for 2015. Seven top researchers all based in the UK have been recognised for their cutting-edge research after a competitive selection process.The winners and their respective awards are as follows: Katherine Woolf, from University College London, is the Charles Darwin Award Lecture winner for agriculture, biological and medical sciences; Jill Stuart, from London School of Economics and Political Science, is the Margaret Mead Award Lecture winner for social sciences; Julie Wertz, from University of Glasgow, is the Jacob Bronowski Award Lecture winner for science and the arts; Hazel Gibson, from Plymouth University, is the Charles Lyell Award Lecture winner for environmental sciences; Alex McLean, from University of Leeds, is the Daphne Oram Award Lecture winner for digital innovation; Radu Sporea, from the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey is the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture winner for engineering, technology and industry, supported by Siemens; Ian Chapman, from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, is the Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture winner for physical sciences and mathematics, supported by Siemens. Each of the Award Lecture winners will give a talk at the British Science Festival in September in Bradford on their latest research. About the 2015 Award Lectures Ivvet Modinou, Head of Engagement at the BSA, said: “The standard of the nominations we received this year was incredibly high. It is extremely encouraging to see and hear about so much fantastic science happening across the UK, and I’m thrilled that we will be offering these early-career researchers an opportunity to tell the British Science Festival audience about their work this September.“I’m so pleased that this year we are launching two new Award Lectures at the Festival in Bradford – it seems a perfect setting to celebrate the digital innovation and links between science and the arts in a city that has such a rich scientific and cultural heritage."The Award Lectures have been presented since 1990 with the aim to recognise and promote the cutting-edge research being carried out in the UK by early-career scientists. Notable Award Lecture winners include, Professor Brian Cox (winner in 2006) Maggie Aderin-Pocock (2008) and Richard Wiseman (2002).This year, the BSA has launched two brand new Award Lectures – the Jacob Bronowski Award Lecture for science and the arts, and the Daphne Oram Award Lecture for digital innovation. Julie Wertz and Alex McLean have the honour of giving the inaugural talks for these two new awards in September. Game of clones: why should we care if our friends are similar to us?Katherine Woolf, from University College London, winner of the Charles Darwin Award lecture for agriculture, biological and medical sciencesDo you find yourself making friends with people like you? Katherine Woolf draws on her often controversial research to explore why this happens, and its impact on success and injustice. Discover how you can challenge the status quo to create a fairer, more integrated, more successful society.Who owns outer space? Jill Stuart, from London School of Economics and Political Science, winner of the Margaret Mead Award Lecture for social sciencesAs governments and corporations continue to venture beyond our own planet, how do we decide who owns space? Jill Stuart draws on her extensive research into outer space politics, explaining our existing laws, where they’ve come from and how politics on Earth affects what happens in the cosmos.The secret chemistry of art: unravelling an age-old textile mysteryJulie Wertz, from University of Glasgow, winner of the Jacob Bronowski Award Lecture for science and the artsIn the 18th and 19th centuries, the distinctive red hue of Turkey red dye drove a huge industry on a global scale. However, the secret to making the dye has never been deciphered. Discover how Julie Wertz is using historical texts and cutting-edge chemistry to unravel this age-old mystery. The invisible world below your feet: fracking, geology and youHazel Gibson, from Plymouth University, winner of the Charles Lyell Award Lecture for environmental sciencesTalking about our rocky underworld can invoke strong reactions - especially where fracking is concerned. Join geologist Hazel Gibson to explore how we think about the 'land beneath our feet' and discover how what happens down there in the subsurface affects our lives up here on top.Live coding: creating languages for making musicAlex McLean, from University of Leeds, winner of the Daphne Oram Award Lecture for digital innovationAlgorithms are changing the way we experience the world, and have huge potential for new collaborative ways to make music. Uncover a completely different side to programming as Alex McLean demonstrates how you can use live coding to create music and visuals, with live demos and videos of 'algoraves'.The coming of age of plastic electronicsRadu Sporea, from the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, winner of the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture for engineering, technology and industry, supported by Siemens.Electronics have transformed our lives beyond recognition but there could be radical change around the corner with plastic electronics. Engineer Radu Sporea explains how these new materials and unconventional devices could be more efficient, cheaper and easier to manufacture than existing technologies.How do you solve a problem like nuclear power? Ian Chapman, from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, winner of the Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture for physical sciences and mathematics, supported by SiemensFusion energy has the potential to be one of the most important scientific breakthroughs. Physicist Ian Chapman explores the challenges in nuclear fusion and explains how the international ITER project is combatting them. Take control as Ian allows you, the audience, to choose the path of his talk. Festival booking opens soon! The British Science Festival will take place from 7-10 September in Bradford, and provides an opportunity to meet researchers face-to-face and discuss the latest science, technology and engineering.All events at the Festival are free, but booking is required, as spaces are limited. Booking will open to BSA members and then be available to everyone at: www.britishsciencefestival.org.