Festivals 

I’m Antonio Benitez, the Head of Festivals (contractor).

I am an experienced freelance consultant and advise the British Science Association and its staff on setting the strategy to develop and deliver the British Science Festival. The Festival is Europe’s longest standing science festival which connects people with researchers from across the scientific spectrum. It offers an inspiring programme of free events to the public over four or five days, attracting thousands of visitors each year. 

I am also the Chair of the UK Science Festivals Network (UKSFN) and am responsible for advising upon associated projects. The UK Science Festivals Network was established to unite, celebrate and develop science festivals in the UK. It meets several times a year to share best practice and discuss the future of the science festivals sector. The UKSFN advocates for the importance of science festivals in conversation with funding bodies and decision makers.

Please get in touch with me if you would like to discuss any ideas about science festivals, partnerships opportunities and developing inclusive and creative science engagement. (He/him/his)

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I'm Valia Giannakaki, Events & Festival Operations Manager.

My work mostly involves managing the logistical planning and delivery of the annual British Science Festival (BSF) 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 BSF 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! (She/her/hers)

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I'm Louise Cooke, 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! (She/her/hers)

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I'm Tallis Buchi, Festival Operations Officer.

I mostly work on supporting the wider Festival team, particularly the Events & Festival Operations Manager, with the operational side of delivering the British Science Festival. This includes assisting with the logistical planning of events, the recruitment of the Festival Assistants as well as other administrative tasks.

Got ideas on how we can deliver the best British Science Festival yet? Or, interested in getting involved? Get in touch! Feel free to ask me about Festival logistics too. (She/her/hers)

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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. (She/her/hers)

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I’m Christina Fuentes Tibbitt , Community Engagement Manager.

I manage our portfolio of Community Engagement Programmes, including British Science Week Community Grants, Community Leaders, Community Buddies and the Community Engagement Network. These programmes aim to support and empower organisations that work with groups who are underrepresented in science.

Get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss any of the above programmes, in addition to volunteer management, partnership and relationship building, project development, evaluation and data analysis. (She/her/hers)

[email protected] -

I’m Dom Neergheen, Community Engagement Officer.

I mostly work on our Community Engagement Programmes which support organisations that work with people who are underrepresented in science. These include the Community Leaders programme, Community Buddies, the Community Engagement Network, and the British Science Week Community Grants. I also assist the team with micro-grants and future funds.

Ask me about anything and everything community engagement at the BSA.

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