The staff of the British Science Association (BSA) have recently learnt  of the sad news that our former colleague and Chief Executive from 1990 to 2002, Peter Briggs, has passed away.

Peter Briggs joined the British Association for the Advancement of Science, as the BSA was called then, in 1980. A scientist by training, he was passionate about science being a domain for the public too, advocating for debate and discussion.

During his time at the BSA, he developed links with young people and the media – he led the organisation as its work to grow the public’s understanding of science was becoming more established.

After the BSA, Peter went onto continue his work in education as Principal of Southlands College and a Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Roehampton. Peter received his OBE in 2010.

Interviewed over two decades ago, in the year 2000, about the BSA and the role of the annual British Science Festival, Peter emphasised its role in breaking down boundaries between scientists and non-scientists – something that holds true to our vision today.

If there is a sort of misconception, both among the public on the one hand about what scientists are really like and among scientists on the other hand about how ignorant and stupid the public are, the best way to correct it is to create opportunities where they can meet with each other and talk with each other… My belief is that an event like the Festival is an ideal opportunity to do that.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and loved ones.