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 National Conference 2014: Four weeks to go

24 September, The Royal Society, London

This lively one day conference brings together leaders and professionals from across the UK Science Engagement Sector to discuss how we better involve and engage people from all backgrounds with the varied and creative world of the sciences.

Delegates include colleagues from the UK's major Science Centres, Science, Engineering and Natural History Museums, Government, Research Councils, Environment Organisations, Media partners, Learned Societies, Charitable trusts and Universities.

Conference Speakers include:

  • Government Minister TBC
  • Clare Matterson - Director, Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust
  • Professor Alice Roberts - Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham
  • Professor Justin Dillon - Professor of science and environmental education, King's College London
  • Professor Louise Archer - Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London
  • David Watson - Campaigns & Strategy, Prime Minister's Office

The evening before we invite you to join us for a VIP gala dinner.

Prices start at £150 for members. Booking and full details are available on our website below.


ASDC Trustee Elections at ASDC AGM - Tuesday Sept 23

All ASDC members are welcome to join the ASDC executive and Trustees for the 2014 AGM the afternoon before the Conference, at 3.30pm -5.30pm at the Royal Society. The Agenda and details are online and you will hear about all the highlights of ASDC's work and be free to ask questions and discuss.
Tea, coffee and networking are 3pm - 3.30.
Over the past months, applications were invited for additional Trustees for the ASDC Board. At the AGM, we will be asking the gathered membership to approve these three new Trustees. Details of their manifestos and biographies can be found here.
Details of all ASDC trustees can be found here

RAEng Ingenious funding scheme is now open for applications 

Ingenious is a grant scheme from the Royal Academy of Engineering for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering.

If you have an imaginative idea that helps engineers to communicate their expertise and passion to a wider audience – they want to hear from you. 

The Ingenious grants programme aims to:

  • inspire creative public engagement with engineering
  • stimulate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise in innovative ways with wider audiences
  • develop engineers’ communication and engagement skills
  • create debate between engineers and people of all ages to raise awareness of the diversity, nature and impact of engineering.

Funding is available from £3,000 to £30,000.

Ingenious is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The application deadline is 4pm Monday 22 September 2014.


Space For All - community funding scheme now open

The UK Space Agency are offering small grants (up to a maximum of £5,000 for each award) to groups ready to present the UK’s space programme and stimulate the use of space in inspiration and learning. The scheme contributes to a goal in the current UK space strategy to increase awareness of the UK’s space programme and of the role that space plays in everyday life.

Many groups, societies and individuals across the UK share this ambition and can help us explain the importance of space. 

Projects may be targeted at specific audiences and may include:

  • delivery of curriculum enrichment activities
  • delivery of activities to promote careers in the space sector
  • preparation of plans for long term projects
  • development of web or social media outreach content
The deadline for proposals is 9am 20 October 2014. 


London Mathematical Society Announces New Grant

As part of its 150th Anniversary celebrations, the London Mathematical Society is pleased to announce a number of grants designed to promote mathematics to families and the general public during 2015. Organisations are invited to submit proposals for mini-festivals, maths days, special maths events, exhibits, and meet the expert series, celebrating mathematicians working locally, or with a particular connection to their local region (current or historical). Successful applicants will be welcome to receive support from the Society and local academics to create the content and find experts.
The Society is offering six to eight grants of £4,000 each for the development of these events and exhibits and is keen to accept applications from science centres within ASDC.

The deadline for submissions of initial interest to this scheme is the 25th of September, 2014. Full proposals are required by the 15th of October, 2014.
For more details and to find out how to apply please follow the link below.

Would you like to be involved with the Longitude Prize 2014?

Longitude Prize 2014 is a challenge with a £10 million prize fund to help solve some of the most important problems of our time, and celebrates the 300th year anniversary of the original Longitude Act. It was launched in May 2014 by Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board is funding partner.  
In partnership with the BBC, Amazon, the National Maritime Museum and the Science Museum, the public were encourage to vote for one challenge they felt the prize should focus on and were given six options (low-carbon flight, antibiotics, dementia, paralysis, food and water sustainability). At the end of June they had chosen antibiotics. Specifically awarding the prize to new a rapid, affordable, point-of-care diagnostic tool to help tackle growing resistance to antibiotics within five years.
From autumn 2014 the Prize opens to anyone and everyone to compete. The Longitude Prize team are keen to explore opportunities with science centres to raise awareness of the prize with the public, potential competitors and other opportunities to discuss antibiotic resistance with families and school.
Please contact to explore opportunities. For more information on the Longitude Prize visit:

The Longitude Prize team will also be at the ASDC conference if you would like to speak with them there.

Can everyone do science and maths?

Join the Royal Society to discuss 'Our Vision for Science and Mathematics Education' and explore how we can make it a reality.
  • Science and maths are at the heart of modern life, whatever your day job.
  • One million new science, engineering and technology professionals will be required in the UK by 2020. Yet too many young people are not given the right opportunities to learn these skills.
  • Our vision is for an education system which ensures everyone can study science and maths in a form that is right for them. Our ambition is for every young person leaving education at 18 to have an understanding of science and maths that will be with them for life and for more young people to be inspired to go on to further study of science, engineering, technology and maths.
The Royal Society is holding events around the UK to coincide with the party conferences. Join us and a panel including teachers, employers and policymakers to discuss our vision and explore how our education systems could better inspire young people and give them the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. For more details visit the link below.


Evidence for impact - a serious literature survey

Ecsite Honorary Member Pr. Per-Edvin Persson presented the results of a literature review he carried out, at the Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres conference in May 2014.

Persson conducted an extensive literature survey on the impact of science centres and their activities. He lists facts and figures from a wealth of sources that show beyond doubt that science centres enhance learning, enhance local prosperity and contribute to social development.

A handy resource for anyone looking for robust evidence to prove value and impact.


EU consultation - help make the voice of science engagement organisations heard

The European Commission recently launched a consultation to inform the 2016-2017 “Science with and for Society” Programme (part of the Horizon 2020 funding framework).

Ecsite is gathering contributions from science engagement organizations and professionals (both members and non-members) in order to submit a contribution in the network’s name.
Use the online form to contribute and read more on the consultation's website.

Send your contributions by 8 September.

Call for Proposals - 2015 Ecsite Annual Conference

Deadline midnight (GMT+2), 14 October 2014

The call for session proposals for the 2015 Ecsite Annual Conference 2015 has just been launched. The conference will be hosted by MUSE in Trento (Italy), 11 - 13 June 2015. Have a look at the first announcement to find out more about Trento, MUSE and the conference theme: 'Food for curious minds'. 

You will find all you need to know about session proposals in this little practical guide.

Call for Big Bang Fair 2015 submissions now open

There is one month left to apply to run an activity at The Big Bang Fair 2015 at the NEC, Birmingham from 11th - 14th March 2015.

If your organisation would like to participate as an activity provider in The Big Bang Fair 2015,then you can find further details and the application form via the link below.


NCCPE Engage Conference 2014: Call for contributions

The NCCPE annual conference provides an opportunity for all those interested in public engagement with higher education to come together, to be inspired, challenged and refreshed. This year we’re in Bristol on the 3rd and 4th December. The theme is: Captivating places; Captivating ideas; Captivating people: Unlocking the potential of curiosity-driven engagement. Contributions can take several different forms including Workshops, Storytelling, Presentations, Engagement encounters, Poster showcase and Seminars.

They are particularly interested in proposals that involve all the groups involved in the project, especially those with external partners.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 2nd September.


Centre for Life celebrates best year yet

The International Centre for Life in Newcastle is celebrating a bumper year. Visitor figures show that the number of people visiting the centre is up 20% in 2013/14, making it the best year yet in its 14 year history. School workshops and other activities have also been a hit, with significantly more people taking part.

In addition, the centre welcomes a new trustee to their board, Patrick Hussey, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Science) at Durham University.

Topping it all off the centre has plans in development for two new exhibitions with over £1 million funding awarded; A Biffa Award Flagship Scheme for a hands-on science area, and a Wellcome Trust Capital Award towards an exhibition on the brain.


Science Museum exhibition 'a big pile of rubbish'

As part of the Science Museum's climate change programme, artist Joshua Sofaer has collaborated with the museum to create an exhibition presenting the institution's waste over a month in all its glory.

The Rubbish Collection displays the variety, value and volume of the museum's waste alongside displays created from it, to explore what we view as 'rubbish'. 

Now that Sofaer has documented the month's rubbish he will be recycling it to create new displays from the unwanted materials. 


Horniman wins two Green Flag Awards

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill has been awarded not one but two Green Flag Awards for 2014, by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The awards recognise and rewards the best green spaces in the country.

The awards come hot on the heels of Green Tourism's announcement that the Horniman is one of only three London venues shortlisted for its coveted Goldstar Awards for sustainability - the results will be announced in November.


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

Jeans for Genes Day

19 September

British Pharmacolgical Society Outreach Grants

Deadline 15 September

2015 Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

Deadline 23 September

Biochemical Society Scientific Outreach Grants

Deadline 24 September

WorldSpace Week

4-10 October

Nobel Prize Annoucements

6-13 October

Ada Lovelace Day

14 October

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

Deadline 6 November

ASDC Events

ASDC Annual Conference 2014: Delegate list closes 10 September

24 September, Royal Society, London

There's still time to register and get on the delegate list for the 2014 ASDC National Conference 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. 


Other Events

The best of Sciencewise's research: reflecting on 10 years of public dialogue

8 September, webinar

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Sciencewise is holding a webinar on 'The best of Sciencewise's research' on the 8 September 2014, 13.00-14.00. We’ll discuss our latest publication – due to be released in the first week of September – which reviews 10 years of thought-leadership papers. 


Museums Association Annual Conference and Exhibition

9-10 September, Wales Millennium Centre

This year’s conference will take the MA’s landmark Museums Change Lives campaign as one of its driving themes. Another key idea is resilience – look out for a number of helpful sessions on how museums can ride out the tough funding climate.

Delegates will have a range of opportunities to network with other museum professionals from far and wide. 

New to the programme are pop-up museums, which will see mini-exhibitions turning up in unexpected places both inside and outside the conference centre. 


Making the City Playable Conference

10-11 September, Watershed, Bristol

Featuring Google Creative Lab’s Tom Uglow, architect Usman Haque, artist Luke Jerram and Ogilvy’s Tara Austin, this two-day international conference will explore the theme of the ‘Playable City’, asking what it might mean for citizens, urban planners, tech giants, small companies, artists and designers in imagining and making the cities of the future. 

A brilliant group of thinkers, makers, planners and civil disobedients will be brought together to look at cities as playable places and ask the question: how do we make and unmake our future cities?

The conference will feature playful interventions, networking, debate and discussion, artist commissions and a cross-disciplinary academic strand.


Interpreting the Information Age: New Avenues for Research and Display conference

3-5 November, Science Museum, London

In October 2014, the Science Museum will open a new permanent gallery, Information Age. The gallery will expose, examine and celebrate how information and communication technologies have transformed our lives over the last 200 years. To mark this launch, the Museum is hosting a free, three day conference which will discuss how the history and material culture of information can be made relevant for today’s audiences. 

This conference will combine reflections on collecting practice and academic related to information, showcase innovative approaches to interpreting and displaying this content, and examine the opportunities and challenges of working in partnership with audiences to bring the collections to life.


Communicate 2014: Changing Stories - Registration now Open

4-5 November, At-Bristol, Bristol

We are living through a time of immense and accelerated change: environmental, technological and social. Are our well-rehearsed environmental messages and our tried and trusted communications tools still relevant in today’s rapidly evolving world? Communicate 2014: Changing Stories will address this question.
Join us for two days of inspirational sessions, thought-provoking discussions, practical workshops and outstanding networking opportunities at the UK’s leading conference for environmental communicators. Develop your skills, share best practice and debate the latest challenges with over 150 delegates from NGOs, public sector, media, academia and beyond.
Two day delegate pass: £250+ VAT; one day delegate pass: £150+VAT


Ecsite Director's Forum - #downloadingthefuture*

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

Directors and senior management staff of Ecsite full members are invited to join this three day conference to find out everything you want to know, and should know, about the future. Topics covered include Technology and leadership, creativity 
and innovation, uploading and downloading. 

Keynote speeches include the founder of Skype and the president of Estonia.


Association of Science - Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference

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

Widening Participation in Higher Education Conference

28 October, University of Salford

Women in Science and Engineering Awards 2014

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

Association for Science Education Annual Conference 2015

7-10 January 2015, University of Reading

Memberships Manager

Eden Project
Deadline: 31 August

Membership Sales & Marketing Manager

Natural History Museum
Deadline: 31 August

Learning and Events Officer (Tring)

Natural History Museum
Deadline: 31 August

Director of Curatorial & Public Engagement

Horniman Museum and Gardens
Deadline: 1 September

Science Educator

Natural History Museum
Deadline: 3 September

Public Affairs and Press Manager

Royal Statistical Society
Deadline: 1 September

Temporary Programme Manager, Public Engagement

Royal Academy of Engineering
Deadline: 5 September

Marketing Manager

Natural History museum
Deadline: 7 September

Exhibition Curator

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Deadline: 7 September

Research Engagement Manager

Cancer Research UK
Deadline: 7 September

Causeway Associate in Computer Science

Royal Institution of Great Britain
Deadline: 8 September

Public Engagement Policy Manager

British Science Association
Deadline: 10 September

Trainee Science Explainer

Centre for Life
Deadline: 10 September

Head of Outreach and Engagement

Institute of Physics
Deadline: 12 September

Education Outreach Manager

Royal Society
Deadline: 12 September

Professorship for Public Engagement in Science

Royal Society
Deadline: 16 September

Scheme Manager, Grants

Royal Society
Deadline: 17 September
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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