In our latest Impact Report, published today, we reflect on the steps we took towards achieving our vision and mission in 2021/22, the challenges we overcame and the opportunities that lie ahead.  

Embracing change in an exacting year 

2021/22 was an exacting year for everyone. From COVID-19 to the climate crisis, the events of the year brought the role of science in society to the fore and showed just how critical our vision and mission is for the times. 

Against this backdrop, we launched our 10-year strategy with a new vision of a future where science is more relevant, representative and connected to society.  

Throughout the year, the British Science Association (BSA) took important strides towards this goal. We deepened our focus on engaging the people and communities who’ve typically been underserved by science, we ensured that they are at the heart of our programmes and we gave them a platform for their voices to be heard on the issues that matter to them.  

Our impact 

We want to build a future where science is more relevant, representative and connected to society. Here’s how we took steps towards that in 2021/22: 

More relevant:  

  • Our 28th British Science Week saw a record 116,376 activity packs downloaded by early years settings, schools and community groups to raise awareness of and celebrate STEM; while almost twice as many students (103,970) took part in our annual poster competition  
  • We received 46,672 submissions from primary and secondary students to our flagship CREST Awards education programme – double the previous year's submissions 
  • At our 191st British Science Festival, hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, 166 speakers and facilitators enabled us to create 9,249 audience engagements through 131 free events designed to engage those not typically interested in science 

Pearce Jarrett (Machine Learning Engineer and Founder and CEO, Gwaan) took part in our British Science Week Smashing Stereotypes campaign in 2022 to celebrate the diverse people and careers in STEM. Pearce said:

Growing up, there wasn’t really anyone I knew in science. So if I can communicate with kids and say ‘hey, I exist and what I do is cool’, then that’s going to enable them to believe they can be things that they otherwise wouldn’t have thought possible.

More representative:  

  • We awarded 493 grants to schools and community groups to engage, inspire and support those underserved by, and underrepresented in, science 
  • We gave 180 young people and adults a platform to share their stories, ideas and research to celebrate diversity in STEM 
  • 86 researchers were engaged in community-led research activities and community engagement projects 
  • We engaged 244 leaders from science, government, policy, business and civil society in thought-leadership activities to discuss the biggest issues of the day 

Woman standing up wearing a black jumper and pink patterned scarf

Carmel Britto (Founder and Education Director, LPF Kiddies Club CIC), took part in our Community Buddies programme in 2021/22 where she partnered with local researchers to co-create STEM projects responding to the needs of local children who are underrepresented in science. Carmel said:

[Being part of the BSA Community Leader] programme and engaging with other community leaders helped to reaffirm for me that we're offering a quality STEM provision [to the children we support]. It allowed us to be able to tap into different skill sets and to build your confidence as a science engagers.

More connected:  

Headshot of woman with brown hair wearing a white dress with pink flowers

Irina Jarrett-Thorpe (Founder and CEO, Engineering Minds) was a recipient of our UK Science Festivals Network's 'Making Connections' grant in 2021/22. She used it to bring together community groups and STEM academics and professionals to raise teenage girls' engineering career aspirations. Irina said: 

Once the girls understood the impact of engineering projects on their own communities, they could relate to topics that directly affected their lives. And so, we could see a significant increase in their interest in engineering and how it truly makes a difference to people’s lives.

Thoughts from our Chair and Chief Executive 

Hilary Newiss was appointed as our Chair of Trustees in March 2022. Reflecting on our achievements throughout the 2021/22 financial year, Hilary said:  

Despite the challenges of the year, the organisation is in excellent health and achieved considerable success. Our vision of a future where science is more relevant, representative and connected to society was brought to life for hundreds of thousands of children, young people and adults across the UK who we reached through our inspiring events, campaigns, programmes and resources.

One of Hilary’s first tasks in post was to appoint a new Chief Executive for the charity. Hannah Russell subsequently joined the BSA in October 2022. 

Headshot of Hannah Russell, British Science Association Chief Executive; short brown hair in red top with statement necklace

Looking ahead to her priorities as Chief Executive, Hannah said: 

I’m delighted to have joined the British Science Association as Chief Executive. It’s an honour to be part of an organisation with such historical importance and current relevance, and with a mission so close to my heart.  

My priorities will be to drive forward the organisation's important work, build on our strengths and maximise our impact. We can’t do this alone and will continue to welcome opportunities for collaboration.

Read our latest Impact Report and Trustees’ Annual Report 

Get in touch if you would like to collaborate with us 

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