The British Science Festival takes place 11-15 September 2024, and will be hosted by the University of East London (UEL).

Each year, the British Science Association (BSA) recognises seven Award Lecturers, each of whom is carrying out pioneering research as well as committing to public engagement activities to ensure their work reaches a non-specialist audience.

The Award Lectures have previously been given by high-profile scientists and science communicators such as Brian Cox, Richard Wiseman and Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

We are delighted that the following people have accepted the Award Lecturer accolade:

  • Nick Werren, Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University for the Physical Sciences and Mathematics Award Lecture
  • Sabrina Li, Senior Research Associate at the University of Nottingham for the Agricultural, Biological and Medical Sciences Award Lecture
  • Chenying Liu, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford for the Engineering, Technology and Industry Award Lecture
  • Liam Collins-Jones, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Cambridge for the Digital Innovation Award  Lecture
  • Tim Lamont, Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University for the Environmental Sciences Award Lecture
  • Diana Teggi, Lecturer at the University of Bath for the Social Sciences Award Lecture
  • Rosie Poebright, Research Fellow at the University of Bristol for the Science and the Arts Award Lecture

Nick Werren - Nick is following how particular bacteria harvest sunlight in different climates. This approach allows him to understand the physics of solar energy production on a quantum level. Join him to discover how being inspired by these tiny biological solar panels could help prevent the climate crisis.

Sabrina Li - Sabrina introduces Geographic Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI), a tool using experience and research from the richly biodiverse tropical regions of Brazil. This innovative tool for mapping and revealing health inequalities across time, space, and populations may help us to understand the life course of infectious diseases and their impacts on populations.

Chenying Liu - Chenying is embedding origami techniques into robotic design. Robots can be useful in all sorts of situations, from acting as a gripper for agricultural harvesting, to a crawler for disaster response. However, these tasks often demand high dexterity, and developing versatile robotic hands is extremely challenging however they may have found a solution. Applying inspiration from something called ‘thick-panel origami’ alongside 3D printing, she is able to create robots capable of grasping with ease.

Liam Collins-Jones - Liam is developing and testing new technology to uncover the inner workings of an infant’s brain. By playing them nursery rhymes and shining harmless light waves into the baby’s head, he’s able to stimulate and measure brain activity across the entire surface. Understanding this activity allows him to see how different parts of the brain work together. Insights like these could be crucial for understanding brain development and shedding light on neurodivergent brains and Deaf babies.

Tim Lamont - Tim invites us to celebrate the opportunities provided by ecosystem restoration. Join him to become part of ‘Generation Restoration’ and find out about his research, experimenting with new restoration techniques for helping tropical coral reefs recover from damage. Learn about how we can all contribute to ecosystem restoration, helping nature flourish and creating a better world for us all.

Diana Teggi - Diana has completed an in-depth study into end-of-life care practices within care homes. Often there can be a lot of stigma and misinformation surrounding those who provide this care. Her aim was to dispel some of these assumptions. Join her to discover a clearer picture of the variety of care available to those dying with dementia.

Rosie Poebright - Rosie is researching what happens in our bodies and minds when we participate in cultural experiences. Working across neuroscience, philosophy, anthropology, and theatre they question what’s at stake, both physically and emotionally, when audiences participate in live story experiences.

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science Festival, hosted in a different UK city each year. The Festival connects people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists in an inspiring programme of free events.

The full programme will be published in late June. Ticket bookings will also open at the end of June.

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