Latest news and upcoming events from across the network
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The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres brings together over 60 of the nation's major science engagement organisations, who together reach 20 million people each year

Welcome to the ASDC Newsletter

A round-up of the month's interesting updates, developments and opportunities for science engagement professionals across the UK.

This Month:


This Month's Top Stories

ASDC Education Conference 2014

Wednesday 25 February 2014

Education and Learning staff from science and discovery centres and museums across the UK are invited to the ASDC Education Conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Join us for this lively day-long conference to meet and discuss the current learning landscape of the informal learning sector, hear from leaders and innovators in the field, and contribute to the latest discussions.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Kirsten Bodley Chief Executive of STEMNET
  • Jeremy Curtis Head of Education and Skills, UK Space Agency

Details of the full programme and registration will be available at the end of November.


24 organisations now involved in Explore Your Universe

Explore Your Universe Phase 2 is now well underway; we now have 24 organisations involved in the project including 2 development partners, 2 STFC facilities and 20 delivery partners (15 science centres and 5 universities):
  • At-Bristol
  • Catalyst Science Discvoery Centre
  • Dundee Science Centre
  • Glasgow Science Centre
  • Observatory Science Centre
  • Our Dynamic Earth
  • Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • Satrosphere
  • Science Oxford
  • Winchester Science Centre
  • Cambrdige Science Centre
  • National Museums Scotland
  • Newcastle University
  • Northumbria University
  • Techniquest
  • Thinktank
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Daresbury Laboratory
  • National Space Centre
  • Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

The phase 2 training academy was hosted by the National Space Centre in October and the National Meeting will be taking place in November, hosted by RAL.

Additionally, each member above has been invited to attend a very special visit to CERN at the end of January, generously supported by STFC. More details about this will be available soon.


New national family astronaut programme

ASDC is delighted to announce a partnership with the UK Space Agency to create and run a fabulous astronaut programme to run across the UK. The programme will be celebrating the launch of the UK's first sponsored astronaut, Tim Peake, who will be spending 6 months on board the International Space Station from November 2015. We will be seeking 15 science centres and museums to take part in early 2015.

We're working with with the National Space Centre, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and the Science Museum to develop the programme.


Changes at ASDC

Dr Michaela Livingstone has been the ASDC Special Projects Manager for the past 3.5 years, successfully delivering two great national programmes, ‘Hands-on DNA’  and  ‘Explore Your Universe’.
Michaela will be moving from ASDC at the end of this year to take up an exciting new post in Public Engagement at Oxford University. We wish Michaela every success with her new adventures, will miss working with her very much and hope our paths will continue to cross. Her last day with ASDC will be Friday 19 December 2014. If you would like to send a good luck message for her card, please send these to Maddy Foard.
ASDC will be seeking to recruit a new exceptional ASDC Special Projects Manager to deliver our new ‘National Astronaut Programme’ for families and Phase 2 of ‘Explore Your Universe’. Recruitment will  begin in November and details will go on the ASDC website.

Longitude Prize 2014 opens to competitors in just over two weeks!

Longitude Prize 2014 is a challenge with a £10 million prize fund to help solve one of the most important problems of our time.  It was launched in May 2014 by Nesta with Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board, as funding partner, to celebrate the 300th year anniversary of the original Longitude Act.  The UK public cast thousands of votes during June 2014 to choose antibiotic resistance as the topic.  The challenge is to develop an affordable, point of care diagnostic to help ensure the right antibiotic is used at the right time.
From mid November the Prize opens to anyone to compete. The Longitude Prize team are hoping to deliver a series of public talks about the history of Longitude and antibiotic resistance, and also to develop an exhibit to help spread the word. They want people across the UK to enter the Prize or get involved in other ways.
Please contact Tamar Ghosh to explore opportunities. To keep up to date with developments on Longitude Prize follow @longitude_prize or visit:

Expressions of Interest: Royal Society of Chemistry: Science in Town Centres programme

Deadline: 10 November
At the UK Science Festivals Network meeting in July, the RSC brought a proposal to the network for a new scheme with a specific ask for engaging audiences that had not planned on visiting a science event that day. After further discussion with UKSF members and British Science Association a formal call for expressions of interest is now going out.

At this stage in this new way of working RSC are happy to include scientific disciplines outside of chemistry and are more concerned with the audience and format of experience.

The deadline is November 10th to put in an expression of interest. For more details download the paper via the link below.


ASTC 2015: Call for session proposals

Next year's Association for Science-Technology Centers' conference will be hosted by Montreal Science Centre in Montreal (Canada) on 17-20 October 2015.

Find tips and the submission forms via the website below.


ASDC Members' Meal at Ecsite 2015

10 June, Trento, Italy
The 2015 Ecsite Annual Conference will take place in the alpine city of Trento, Italy, from the 11th to the 13th of June. It will be hosted by MUSE, Trento's new science museum designed by Renzo Piano, nestled in the Dolomites mountains.

We are delighted to invite all UK members and friends for dinner and drinks the evening before the Ecsite Conference in Trento on 10 June. This informal networking event will take place in a restaurant close to the speakers' reception. You are welcome to arrive early and have a drink on the terrace.

Full details and registrations are via the link below.


Ecsite 2015 Business Bistro Registrations Open

The Ecsite Business Bistro is the social and commercial hub of the Ecsite Annual Conference. Part coffee bar, part trade show, it’s a relaxed environment in which to explore cutting-edge products and strike commercial deals. Book a booth and do business with the science communication decision-makers of Europe and beyond.

The different packages available, their price and full details are available via the link below.


Rendezvous with a Comet

12 November 2014

Rosetta, the ambitious mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) to chase down and study the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, will be marking another milestone on November 12 when it attempts to land it's Philae lander on the surface of the comet, which it has been accompanying since catching up to it in August this year.

This is a world first and a number of events are taking place internationally. ESA have released a series of resources for educators and others to use to bring this mission to life, have live broadcasts planned via their website for November 12, and have even made a captivating short film about the mission where science fact meets science fiction.

For regular updates and links to all of their resources, visit the link below. You can also access the resources created as part of the Explore Your Universe project here.



RAS200: Town Hall Meetings Across the UK

To celebrate the Bicentennial of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2020 a £1 million outreach fund was announced. This fund is intended to be used to fund a number of different projects across the UK to bring alive astronomy and geophysics to all audiences.

Since the initial announcement a series of Town Hall meetings have been arranged to bring together potential partners, ahead of a two-round submissions process. So far a number of meetings have taken place, with more to come. If you'd like to attend these meetings or would like further information please visit the link below.
Leicester 6th Nov National Space Centre Evening
London 11th Nov National Autistic Society Daytime
Edinburgh 13th Nov Our Dynamic Earth Afternoon/evening
Cheshire 23rd Nov Jodrell Bank Afternoon
Armagh 26th Nov Belfast University Afternoon
Aberystwyth 29th Nov Aberystwyth University Morning/afternoon


British Science Week Grants

Deadline: 21 November 2014

This year the British Science Association is offering a series of grants for schools and organisations to run events during British Science Week (BSW, formerly NSEW):
  • Kick Start Grant Scheme for schools in challenging circumstances
    • School activity grant (up to £300)
    • NEW ‘Our school community’ grant (up to £700)
  • BSW Grant Scheme for Scotland
    • School activity grant (£200)
    • Public activity grant (£350)
  • BSW Grant Scheme for Wales
    • School activity grant (£200)
    • Public activity grant (£350)
  • NEW Community Grant Scheme (£500 for community groups whose targeted audience/participants include those not traditionally engaged with science).
Please visit the website below and read the grant guidelines for each respective grant for more information. The deadline to apply is 21 November 2014. 



Explore Your Universe Presents: Inspiring Girls with Physics and Engineering

3-4:30pm, 4 November

ASDC members are invited to join the next conference call in the 'Explore Your Universe Presents' series focused particularly on how, as a sector, we can help to address and decrease the gender gap of those choosing to study, and pursue careers in, science and engineering through providing a backdrop to the issues, practical recommendations, and space for discussion for those involved in this area of work.

Speakers for this call include Katharine Lee, Head of Youth Programmes for Girlguiding, Emily Dawson, lecturer at University College London whose work focuses on equity around science engagement, and Andrea Meyrick, Head of Education at Techniquest.

This event is free but registration is required. You can see the programme and register via the link below.


First Tweet from Queen opens Information Age Exhibition 

On Friday 24 October 2014 Her Majesty The Queen opened the Science Museum's new Information Age gallery by sending her first tweet.

It read:
“It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R.”

The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh had earlier toured the pioneering gallery, listening to personal recollections of people whose first experience of television was watching the Coronation in 1953.


Register your activities on the STEM Directories

Do you deliver shows, talks, workshops, excursions, challenge days, debates or other activities that help promote science, engineering and maths to schools?

The STEM Directories are a free resource, run by the Royal Institution, for teachers to search for external providers to help supplement their classroom activities. There is no charge to appear in the directories, but your scheme must fit the following criteria.

  • be related to science, engineering or mathematics
  • be available to schools in the UK – either on a local, regional or national level.
  • be up-to-date – schemes may be removed if we believe they have inaccurate listing information.
  • be personal – we only list schemes which involve personal contact. Educational materials such as web resources, computer games, teacher packs or information based schemes can be listed on the national STEM resource centre elibrary instead.
For full details and to register follow the link below.


New film and factsheet from EuroStemCell

EuroStemCell is a project funded by the European Commission to help European citizens make sense of stem cells.  They provide reliable, independent information and road-tested educational resources on stem cells and their impact on society.

They've just launched a new film looking at how specialised cells develop from stem cells. They're always adding new resources to support engagement around stem cells. You can access all of these for free online via the link below.


Do you have news to share with the network? Send it to us!

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) public engagement large awards 

Deadline 6 November

Funding to support British Science Week Events

Deadline 21 November

Wellcome Trust Art Awards

Deadline 28 November

Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellowships

Deadline 13 February 2015

Presenter Network Meeting

3-5pm, 3 November, Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

Interpreting the Information Age: New Avenues or Research and Display Conference

3-5 November, Science Museum, London

Communicate 2014: Changing Stories

4-5 November, At-Bristol, Bristol

Ecsite Space Group Annual Meeting

7 November, Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

UWE Science Communication Programmes Open Evening

12th November 2014, Bristol

Ecsite Director's Forum

12-14 November, Science Centre AHHAA, Tartu, Estonia

BBSRC's Great British Bioscience Festival

14-16 November, Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London

Women in Science and Engineering Awards 2014

13 November, South Bank Centre and Grange Hotel Tower Bridge, London

SINDBAD SCI-FI presents:Arab Science Fiction: From Imagination to Innovation

15 November, Science Museum

BBC broadcaster, Samira Ahmed, chairs a stellar panel of visionary thinkers who offer new perspectives on whether nurturing creativity through science fiction could be more crucial to our global progress than we might realise.
What is the link between technological innovation and artistic imagination? Science fiction is often thought to be the ultimate bridge between science and the arts. Could exploring this symbiotic relationship enable the next generation to envision an alternative future of the Middle East? Can inventive forms of art, film and literature help to inspire new waves of scientific development in the Arab world today and beyond?
In true geek spirit, this event is about brokering dialogue and engagement between different spheres; science and the arts, 'East' and 'West', academia and popular culture. And we also hope participants will have a good time! To book and for more information follow the link below.


Bridging the Gender Equality Gap: The Future Role of Women

19 November, Policy Exchange Forum, Holiday Inn Kensington, London

INVOLVE Conference 2014: Changing Landscapes

26-27 November, NEC Birmingham

NCCPE Engage conference 2014

3-4 December, Bristol – early bird rates to 31 October

Teaching and Communicating Science in the Digital Age

15-17 December, Charles Darwin House, London

Association for Science Education Annual Conference 2015

7-10 January 2015, University of Reading

ASDC National Conference 2015

24 September 2015, At-Bristol

Explainer Team

Techniquest Glyndŵr
Deadline: Ongoing

Science Education Coordinator

Glasgow Science Centre
Deadline: 5 November

Keeper of Medicine

Science Museum
Deadline: 5 November

Communications and Public Engagement Officer

University of Oxford, Dept of Pediatrics
Deadline: 6 November

Public Engagement Officer

University of Glasgow
Deadline: 9 November

Science Communicator

Dundee Science Centre
Deadline: 10 November

Director of Content

Deadline: 12 November

Director of Learning

Science Museum
Deadline: 14 November

Public Engagement Officer

Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at Cambridge University
Deadline: 16 November

Manager of Audience Research & Advocacy

Science Museum
Deadline: 17 November

Policy Officer

Campaign for Science and Engineering
Deadline: 17 November

Development Director

Deadline: 17 November

Partnership Manager

Deadline: 17 November

Science Communication Officer

Alzheimer's Research UK
Deadline: 20 November

Public Engagement and Events Officer 

Deadline: 23 November

Public Engagement Officer

Birckbeck University of London
Deadline: 24 November
Looking to recruit someone? Want to attract as wide a pool of candidates as possible? Send us details. On average the job opportunities listed attract a large proportion of the click-throughs from the newsletter, which is sent out to a broad range of professionals working in and with the science engagement sector.
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