We are looking for our next History of Science Scientific Section Recorder who will advise the British Science Association within the field of History of Science and develop relevant events for the British Science Festival.

Section Recorder – Role Description

What are the Scientific Sections?

Since the foundation of the British Science Festival, the Scientific Sections have played a key role in developing the programme of events, organising: talks, interactive activities, performances amongst other content and formats. Comprised of professionals from the 17 different areas of science, the Sections are volunteers who also advise the British Science Association (BSA) on the latest developments within their fields.

Yearly, the Sections nominate an individual for their presidency who will give a presidential address at the Festival in September, to mark the start of their year-long term. 

The next Festival will take place from 13-17 September 2022 in Leicester.

To find out more about the BSA and our Sections, click here.

To find out more about the BSA’s new 10 year strategy, click here.

To find out more about the Festival, click here.

Aims of the Sections:

  • To play a key role in developing content for the Festival
  • To advise the BSA on new developments within the field of History of Science
  • To promote the vision of the BSA: a future where science is more relevant, representative and connected to society.
  • To promote the mission of the BSA: to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; reach under-served audiences; and increase the number of people who are actively engaged and involved in science

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI):

For the BSA’s vision to come to fruition, we need to make science part of everyone's culture, including those who are currently least engaged. We need to be able to engage with people in groups that are poorly represented in science, and that’s why EDI will be central to our activities. 

Our EDI objectives are to:

  • Develop our staff and internal systems to ensure the BSA reflects the society we want to see, and develops inclusive culture and policies;
  • Change our programmes to increase their relevance to audiences who are traditionally under-represented in science engagement activities, and empower people to run science engagement activities for their networks and communities;
  • Influence other organisations and individuals in the science engagement to sector to develop and improve their EDI practices in capability and audience development to reach new audiences.

We recognise that in many settings, at the BSA and beyond, EDI can be seen as an add-on or ‘fix’ to the regular work. Our aim is for EDI to be the heart of everything we do. As such, we expect Section Recorders to act as champions for EDI through their work with us and will support them to do so.  

What this role offers: 

  • Budget to develop up to two public engagement events for the annual British Science Festival and the opportunity to bring areas of your discipline to the wider public
  • The opportunity to make contacts with a wide range of people from multiple fields at various levels of their career
  • Exposure to new ideas and developments within your own and other disciplines
  • Support from the British Science Association’s Engagement Team who are experienced in public engagement and can provide you with guidance in the sector
  • Attendance to the British Science Festival with reasonable travel/accommodation/subsistence costs covered

Level of commitment:

  • Attendance at the British Science Festival (which takes place over four or five days in early September each year). You will be required to attend at least one of these days but are invited to stay for the whole Festival should you wish. Reasonable costs of attendance will be covered.
  • Attendance to a Festival planning meeting in London in December (subject to COVID-19 restrictions). Reasonable costs of attendance will be covered.
  • Available to communicate via phone/email with the BSA throughout the year.
  • The role of Recorder can be held for up to 5 years, but reasonable notice can be given if you wish to step down.

Main tasks/responsibilities:

  • Nominate a Section President to deliver an event at the Festival
  • Submit up to two event proposals for the Festival (including the Presidential event)
  • Work with the BSA to develop content for your events to ensure they are in line with the BSA vision
  • Champion EDI practices, ensuring EDI considerations are incorporated within events organised
  • Act as a primary point of contact for the Section and be available to respond to queries from the BSA*
  • Manage a small Section budget for these events and submit expenses on behalf the speakers/
  • Coordinate internal Section communications and meetings, as necessary
  • Act as a representative for the BSA and abide by the BSA’s code of ethics

*Key points in the year will be Jan-March, when you will work with the Festival team to develop the Section Presidential Address plus one other event, and June-July, when you will work with the Festival team to arrange logistics in the lead up to the Festival.

This role would suit someone who…

  • has an excellent ability to form academic and professional links within the Section’s field
  • has excellent knowledge of cutting-edge research in the Section’s field
  • is interested in public engagement and science communication
  • is willing to have open conversations around EDI and considers EDI issues when developing content
  • is based in the UK

How to get involved

If you would like to discuss the role further or have any questions about what it involves, please email the current History of Science Recorder, Alex Hall at [email protected].  

If you would like to submit a formal expression of interest for the role, please contact Anna Woolman at [email protected], including why you’d like to be involved and any relevant experience you have.