The British Science Association’s vision is of a future where science is at the heart of culture and society. Our work is focussed on ensuring that science is seen not only as accessible and engaging, but as culturally relevant to people. This means ensuring that science is not seen as purely in the domain of professionals and experts, but owned by everyone, regardless of background.  Encouraging participation in this way acknowledges the importance of cultivating science as part of identity, and provides a powerful context for scientific learning, agency and ownership.

Our audience model research indicates that people who are employed or identify as engaged in science are more likely to be male, white, well-educated, and from a higher income household. To redress this issue of inequity, our strategy and mission aims to change the public landscape of science engagement by putting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the heart of what we do.

Inclusive Science Engagement

Working with science engagement professionals is an essential part of our strategy. This group can reach new audiences, improve our work, and promote science as a fundamental part of culture and society.

We define the as ‘anyone working on having, or facilitating, conversations about science, whether paid or voluntarily.’ Our research ‘research ‘A Changing Sector: where is science communication now?’ indicates that people employed in science engagement roles are more likely to be female, white, and educated to at least Masters level. We believe improved confidence and understanding around EDI combined with a more representative workforce will improve the quality and financial sustainability of science engagement more broadly and make science more relevant to the UK population.

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Work with us

We believe that working together with other organisations will help ensure the science engagement community benefits from better sharing of learning and expertise on EDI. We know the science engagement community encompasses a huge range of roles, experience and working patterns, including organisations such as charities and campaign groups, learned societies, the media, government, cultural organisations, community organisations, museums and discovery centres, think tanks, education and higher education institutions. Therefore, our activities are split into three areas: Inclusive Science Engagement Network, Inclusive Science Engagement Events and Inclusive Leadership.

Inclusive Science Engagement Network 

We have convened a network for people in science engagement roles to share learning and trial new methods using an “action learning set” approach. Applications to join the Inclusive Science Engagement Network are now closed.

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Inclusive Science Engagement Events 

Our networking events are open for anyone to attend and focus on specific EDI topics.

We run approximately two events per year, featuring a panel of people with experience and expertise delivering EDI in science engagement, or other sectors we can learn from, followed by a group activity or informal networking. Events are usually held outside London, are always free to attend, and are often delivered in partnership with other organisations. We will aim to provide event reports and summaries.

Event information will be listed under the News section of this page. If you are interested in partnering with the BSA to run an event, please contact Clio Heslop ([email protected])

Inclusive Leadership in Science Engagement

We need EDI to be understood and valued at the highest level of organisations. We organise meetings to host confidential conversations around the specific leadership challenges and opportunities relating to driving change around EDI within the science, technology, and cultural engagement sector. This provides a safe, supportive environment in which leaders of science engagement organisations can explore this area for themselves and as a group. 

Reports and resources

We are beginning to collect relevant BSA reports and resources on EDI and inclusive science engagement. We are keen to highlight examples from other organisations and sectors. If you would like us to consider listing your work on this page, please email Clio Heslop ([email protected])

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