Friday 10 March marks the start of British Science Week. Run by the British Science Association (BSA), the Week is an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) marked by schools, communities, businesses and others around the UK.

The public’s ‘connection’ with science

This year, the theme of the Week is ‘connections’, though unfortunately the connection between the public and science isn’t a particularly strong one. Research from the BSA and other organisations consistently finds that science isn’t really resonating with the public, particularly young people.

In 2022 we found that:

  • Just a third (34%) of 14-to-18-year-olds in the UK think science is relevant to their lives
  • Only 8% of young people can think of a scientist who looks like them and as few as 12% think scientists represent their views and values
  • Just 15% think they are being spoken directly to by scientists

As young people transition to adulthood, it doesn’t seem like this relationship improves. In 2019, the government-commissioned Public Attitudes to Science survey found that only 1 in 5 (22%) adults feel actively connected to science, meaning they seek out news, events and activities related to it.

The theme of ‘connections’ therefore feels timely, as topics that can’t be discussed without a nod to science – artificial intelligence (AI), the climate crisis, health pandemics – permeate our everyday lives.

By enabling all of society to take part in science, and also focusing on including people from backgrounds currently underrepresented in the science sector, we harness the collective skills, experiences and ideas of the country. British Science Week, and other initiatives to get people involved in science, not only unlocks the potential of our future STEM workforce, but also builds the confidence of people to participate in conversations to do with science that affect them.

Celebrate British Science Week with us

We want science to be relevant to everyone. So, to help more children, young people, families and communities across the UK to discover their own connections with science, we are celebrating the Week with a series of inspiring activities, events and content:

British Science Week ‘Question Time’ special
Thursday 9 March, 7pm. YouTube livestream.

To realise our vision of a future where science is more relevant, representative and connected to society, we must ensure the next generation have access to opportunities in science that are meaningful to them.

We brought together a panel to discuss what can be done by those in science to better serve and involve the next generation. Our panellists shared their thoughts and experiences from science and other areas of society (such as policy and sport) to help inspire and inform scientific institutions, researchers and policymakers.

Our speakers were:

  • George Freeman MP, Minister at the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology
  • Aisha Kukoyi, Stemette and A-level student;
  • Ali Speechly, football coach and Community Champion (Women & Girls, London), The FA;
  • Michael Sulu, Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering, UCL; and
  • Bob Ward, Deputy Chair of the London Climate Change Partnership.

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, President of the BSA, chaired the discussion.

Watch on YouTube

Connections photo series
Thursday 9 March – Saturday 11 March, 7am-7pm
London Bridge Station, lower concourse between Tooley St and St Thomas St exits

A series of photos of everyday people involved in science is on display in London Bridge Station to launch British Science Week.

As research has found that most people don’t think of themselves as connected to science, we asked scientists and people who work around science why they think it is 'for them'. Interestingly, the reasons they shared included finding out new things, problem solving, getting creative and helping people and society.

We're hoping this display will get more people, particularly the next generation, thinking about their connection to science and wanting to explore this further.

Find out more

#SmashingStereotypes campaign
Throughout British Science Week

Our Smashing Stereotypes campaign returns for this year’s British Science Week – celebrating the diverse people and careers in science and engineering.

Since its launch in 2020, Smashing Stereotypes has encouraged hundreds of people working in the STEM sector to share stories about their different career journeys and their day-to-day work to challenge long-standing stereotypes about those working in science, with the aim of encouraging more young people, from all backgrounds, to see themselves as scientists.

This year’s campaign features dozens of new stories from individuals and teams which you can explore via the British Science Week website and social media channels.

#SmashingStereotypes stories

Connections on social media
Throughout British Science Week

We’ve also asked some of our network and other social media influencers to share their thoughts to mark the launch of our TikTok channel!

We’ll be sharing videos on why people in science think it’s ‘for them’, the role models they wish they’d had when they were younger, and ideas on what science can do to better reach young people.

Follow the BSA on TikTok

Making British Science Week possible

Every year, our long-term partners, new supporters, schools, community groups, businesses and others help to bring science to life for hundreds of thousands of children and communities throughout the UK during British Science Week – and beyond.

Hannah Russell, Chief Executive at the British Science Association says:

“British Science Week is a longstanding calendar event for so many. Each year we’re incredibly impressed with the variety of events put on around the UK, and the enthusiasm of schools, community groups, businesses, libraries and more to celebrate science.

“British Science Week is a particularly good time to reach young people. As we’ve seen in our research, science doesn’t resonate with a lot of the next generation, which makes campaigns like Smashing Stereotypes and British Science Week all the more important in ensuring science is accessible and relatable to them. After all, they’re the future of science.

“We’re grateful to have the continued support of our partners to make this happen, providing more opportunities for young people to see that science can be ‘for them’.”

Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, says:

“Science and technology is all around us, changing the way we live, work, and interact with each other. From artificial intelligence to biotechnology, the breakthroughs of today are shaping the future of tomorrow.

“We need the right people, with the right skills and the right ideas to meet our ambitions to make the UK a true science and technology superpower.

“Inspiring young people early is absolutely key, which is why I have always championed careers in STEM both in my constituency and in Parliament.

“British Science Week is an ideal opportunity to inspire more young people to see STEM as an exciting career choice, one which fosters critical thinking, problem-solving skills and creativity.”

British Science Week is supported by the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), 3M, MSD, Urenco and other partners. Find out more at