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 new ASDC newsletter

Every month we'll be highlighting interesting updates, developments and opportunities for science engagement professionals across the UK.

This month we've brought together a broad range of news, events, new funding opportunities, jobs and research results, as well as details of a major new initiative to get more girls in to physics, engineering and technology.

We’d also like to highlight the 2014 ASDC National Conference which will be hosted by the Royal Society in London, on 24 September (with the conference dinner and AGM on 23rd) as well as the ASDC Marketing Managers conference in Bristol on May 16th.
Wishing you all a warm and happy Easter from the ASDC team.
April's Top Stories

Science and Society Community Challenge Grant Scheme

This new scheme offers financial support to individuals and organisations, to create and run pilot projects which take science to diverse audiences, and engage them with science in their own communities.

The scheme aims to reach audiences of all ages and from all walks of life that are currently under-served by existing activities and inform, inspire and involve them in science, and investigate and test new methods of engagement and participation.

There will be 3 levels of project funding: up to £10,000, up to £20,000 and up to £40,000, depending on the size and difficulty of the project.

A variety of organisations and projects are eligible, so check the link below for further details and documents. The closing date is 16 May.


Wellcome Trust launches new funding scheme

Science Learning Plus is a new international initiative aimed at supporting research to explore and understand the power of informal learning experiences inside and outside of school. 

The scheme is being run by The Wellcome Trust, in partnership with the National Science Foundation in America and the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK, in collaboration with a number of other partners.

The scheme is open to researchers and practitioners working in collaboration, and will be delivered in two phases. The first deadline is July 10 and a networking meeting will be held in May. For full details of eligibility and criteria click the link below.


Inspiring girls with physics, engineering and technology

ASDC has been working with No 10 Downing Street and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on a major new initiative to get more girls involved in technology and engineering. We have discussed the great work the ASDC network is doing in this area – indeed collectively you engage 10 million women and girls in science each year, and around 1 million schoolgirls take part in your curriculum-linked science workshops.

All ASDC members have been invited to sign up to the Compact, which launches on 7 May. Number 10 noted, "Joining the Compact is a chance for ASDC members to show their commitment to promoting these careers and subject choices to girls and their families. It is also an opportunity to work in partnership with other organisations committed to these principles, to exchange ideas and learn from examples of best practice.
Many organisations, institutions and campaigning groups are working to address the under-representation of women in technology and engineering careers. However it is clear that no one organisation can solve this alone. With more than 20 million visits from families each year, ASDC members have a vital role to play in inspiring girls and their families to consider these careers.“

Science Museum Group launches free eJournal

The Science Museum Group has launched an eJournal which is free for all to enjoy.

The new journal presents the global research community with peer-reviewed papers relevant to the wide-ranging work of the Science Museum Group. The journal freely shares the research of four national UK museums and warmly invites contributions that resonate with their collections and practice.


Call for Ecsite members to join a new Horizon 2020 project proposal 

Ecsite is looking for five science centres and museums to join a new European Commission Horizon 2020 call as Third Parties. The topic is Novel visualization tools for enhanced nanotechnology awareness. The proposal is coordinated by the Nanotechnology Industries Association and Ecsite is a project partner.

Deadline to apply is 30 April 2014.


New MSc in Public Engagement with Science

Northumbria University and the International Centre for Life are working together to develop and deliver the new MSc Public Engagement with Science. The first course starts in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in September 2014.

This course aims to give a broad but informed knowledge base to improve current conveyance of scientific knowledge.


Royal College of Pathologists public engagement innovation grant scheme

Deadline 30 June
The Royal College of Pathologists are looking for new projects to fund through their innovation grant scheme for public engagement with pathology. If you have an innovative idea that could help pathologists communicate the role they play in healthcare, then they would like to hear from you. For more information please visit their site below.


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

Deadline 6 November
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)'s public large awards scheme is now open for applications of between £10,000 and £100,000. The scheme provides grants for projects promoting STFC science and technology at the regional and national level. Project teams must have strong links with STFC's scientific research community and be relevant to the STFC science and technology areas. 


Institute of Physics Public Engagement Grant Scheme

IoP's public engagement grant scheme provides up to £1,500 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland.

The grant scheme has two rounds each year. Round 2 of the 2014 scheme is now open. To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, visit the link below.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 25 April 2014.


Organise an event for National Women in Engineering Day: ongoing until 23 June

The 23 June is National Women in Engineering Day. The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) invites you to raise the profile of engineering among young girls, and to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering, by thinking about how you can celebrate the day. Ideas can range from organising an event, a visit, issuing a press release, launching a competition, writing a blog, speaking to a group of students, or just tweeting your support. Resources are available to help you with your event.



Wellcome Trust Education and Learning e-news

Every two months, the Wellcome Trust pulls together news and updates from across it's Education and Learning team, plus pointers to a host of resources for the classroom and further afield. You can read the latest issue, download resources and subscribe to the newsletter by visiting the link below.



International study on the impact of science centres: results out

Can visiting science centres boost science literacy?

This study led by John Falk, involved 13,500 people from 13 countries, and found that people who visit such centres are more engaged with science than those who do not, but did not pin down causation.



British Science Association: public attitudes to science survey results

The British Science Association, on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and in partnership with Ipsos MORI have conducted a study into public attitudes to science. The full results along with some interesting infographics can be at the link found below.


Communicating Climate Science

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee released a report in to the communication of climate science, concluding that there has been lack of a clear, consistent messages on the science, and that this has a detrimental impact on the public's trust in climate science, adding that "as a matter of urgency" the Government need to draw up plans and implement them.

"The Government must work with the learned societies, national academies and other experts to develop a source of information on climate science that is discrete from policy delivery, comprehensible to the general public and responsive to both current developments and uncertainties in the science."



Climate Change Talks

Earlier this year Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, undertook a tour of science centres and museums to present the latest in climate science.

His message was that we now have to start deciding how we want to tackle the issues; the science is clear on the matter. The planet is in our hands.

You can watch video made by Thinktank's Young People's Forum, Ignite, and a video of the whole public talk At-Bristol.



37 posts to go at National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool (NML) has announced a net loss of 37 posts in 2014/15 because of ‘unrelenting cuts’.  The figure comes from the combination of 66 posts being lost and 29 alternative posts being created.  Letters have been sent to staff inviting them to consider voluntary redundancy, reduced hours and job shares. 

NML also reports that there has been a reduction in events across all venues.


Sajid Javid appointed as culture secretary

Sajid Javid, the former financial secretary to the treasury, is to take over as culture secretary after Maria Miller stepped down following the ongoing row over her expenses. 

Javid's former role will be filled by Nicky Morgan, who will also be minister for women. A wider cabinet reshuffle is expected in the summer. 



‘Why we give’ – UK giving culture dissected

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has produced a new report, Why We Give, which explores responses to the question of what inspires 700 larger donors to give – people who give thousands each year to good causes.

CAF has simultaneously published a discussion paper, Give Me A Break, which argues that US style philanthropy will not translate easily into the UK culture, which by comparison, is much more fragmented, including Gift Aid and honours systems.  


Experiencing the Digital World: The Cultural Value of Digital Engagement with Heritage

The 'Experiencing the Digital World' project, led by Leeds University and funded by AHRC, is seeking contributions to a survey they are carrying out in order to better understand how digital engagement approaches are being used in relation to heritage. This is mostly focussed on organisations with collections, however they are interested in comparing to other approaches. This can relate to both no-site gallery digital engagement, and original digital content, such as online exhibitions. The deadline to take part is the end of April. 


Upcoming Events

ASDC Events

ASDC Annual Conference 2014

24 September, Royal Society, London

We are delighted to announce The 2014 ASDC National Conference will be held at The Royal Society On Wednesday September 24th 2014.

We also invite you to the Conference Dinner and the ASDC AGM at the Royal Society on Tuesday 23rd September. 


ASDC Marketing Group Conference

16 May, Bristol
This special one-day conference for marketing staff and specialists will feature sessions exploring the latest knowledge and understanding of marketing as a whole, as well as the latest insights into understanding your audiences and discussions around the current challenges, and how we can collectively solve them.

Early Bird Rate ends at 11pm on Tuesday 29th of April.


Other Events

Science Communication Conference 2014

1-2 May, University of Surrey
*Bookings close 21 April*

Discuss it, Discover it, Do it. Join a wide range of people from across the sector to discuss the latest issues and trends, share and learn.


National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) - After the Research Excellence Framework (REF): taking stock

6 May, Bristol
With the REF now a fading memory, it is a good moment to take stock of the process. HEFCE invited the sector to submit examples of public engagement with research. Did you? The NCCPE invites you to join an interactive workshop on the 6th May, in Bristol, to capture collective learning and to shape a review paper which will be shared with the UK Funding Councils. The event is planned to run from 10.30am to 4.00pm and will include lunch and refreshments. A fee of £50 will apply.


BIG Skills Day: Early Years

19 May, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh

Big ideas for little people. This BIG skills day, developed and delivered in association with the National Museum of Scotland, will be a relaxed environment for the sharing of ideas and experience. The aim is to give you confidence and a fresh outlook on early years activities and what they can achieve.


Ecsite 2014

22-24 May, Den Haag, the Netherlands
pre-conference 20-21 May

25th Anniversary Edition: People, Planet, Peace.
Innovation, problem-solving, progress, adaptation, inclusion and resilience are terms associated with scientific inquiry, but they are also necessities for life in the 21st century. Science centres and museums channel the power and rationality of science to solidify their roles as socially inclusive and inspirational forums for learning. 


ASDC Member's Dinner and Drinks - Ecsite 2014

21 May, Den Haag - Save the Date

Join us for an informal meet-up in a restaurant in Den Haag with fellow conference delegates from the UK.

Further details will be announced shortly.

Women in Engineering: The Challenge 

23 June, London

This one day conference to celebrate National Women in Engineering Day, is aimed at the business community and organised by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
The lack of women in engineering is the topic of the moment. We know that in the UK we face a future skills shortage in the next few years, so in order to address this problem alone we need to attract more girls to engineering, and retain more of our qualified women engineers. But in addition to this, evidence is coming to light which shows that diverse teams of engineers are not only more productive but also more profitable. So, assuming we all agree that we need more women in engineering, the question to ask is ‘What are we going to do about it?’


Wrexham Science Festival 2014 - call for contributors 

17-25 July, Wrexham

Glyndwr University hosts the festival in Wrexham in conjunction with Techniquest Glyndwr, Wrexham County Borough Council, Coleg Cambria and Careers Wales.

The festival consists of a series of public lectures, shows and workshops aimed at promoting various disciplines of scientific research and practice to the wider community and endeavours to inspire the next generation of budding scientists, engineers and technologists.

The festival has 4 broad themes: Earth and the Universe, Animal World, Human Mind & Body and Bright Sparks, though we welcome any activity that promotes science, technology, engineering and maths.

If you would like to contribute a lecture, workshop or show to Wrexham Science Festival 2014 please contact Dawn Pavey.

British Science Festival

6-11 September, Birmingham

Each September the British Science Festival transforms a different UK city into a vibrant celebration of science, engineering and technology.

This year's Festival will take place in Birmingham, in partnership with the University of Birmingham, from 6 - 11 September 2014.

Talks, workshops, debates, comedy, drama, open days, and more, for adults and school children, across the city of Birmingham.


Association of Science - Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference

18-21 October, Raleigh, North Carolina (United States)

ASTC 2014 will include more than 100 concurrent educational sessions and 15 preconference workshops, as well as pre- and post-conference tours.

A first programme is available online. Register by 15 May using the code SAVETD2014 to be entered into a drawing for one complimentary conference registration and a free, three-night hotel stay during the conference. Early Bird registration until 31 July.

Job Opportunities

Education Programme Manager

Science Oxford
Deadline: 21 April

Marketing & Sales Executive

Science Museum
Deadline: 21 April

Exhibitions Tour Co-ordinator

Science Museum
Deadline: 21 April


Science Museum
Deadline: 21 April

2 x Project Manager

Women's Engineering Society
Deadline: 21 April

2 x Live Science Team Member

Deadline: 22 April

Development Manager

Science Oxford
Deadline: 22 April

Project Manager - Food and Drink Initiative

Wellcome Trust
Deadline: 22 April

Young People's Programme Assistant (maternity cover)

British Science Association
Deadline: 22 April (9am)

Content Developer (Churchill Exhibition)

Science Museum
Deadline: 22 April

Policy Officer

Wellcome Trust
Deadline: 24 April

SEPnet/Ogden Physics Outreach Officer

Royal Holloway University of London
Deadline: 25 April

FIRST® LEGO® League Manager 

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Deadline: 25 April

Mathematics in Museums Project Officer

National Museum Wales
Deadline: 28 April

Head of Visitor Experience, Learning & Outreach

Natural History Museum, London
Deadline: Midnight, Monday 5 May

Sponsorship Executive

British Science Association
Deadline: Unknown
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