London SciComm Symposium 2017
On Thursday 11th May 2017 we held the second London SciComm Symposium, in partnership with the Queen Mary University of London Centre for Public Engagement (CPE), and Centre of the Cell. The event saw over 140 guests join 20 speakers to share their recent science communication projects, ideas, and inspiration. The day was a huge success, with through provoking discussions and challenges from our speakers, and lots and lots of networking.
The event was free to attend, but we requested a donation to charity to book a place. We raised an amazing £1117.80 for the Stifford Centre, a charity based in Tower Hamlets who act as a community hub providing local residents with resources and services empowering them to lead healthier and more prosperous lives.
We tried to create sessions that reflect the community that have come to the London SciComm Socials, while also listening to the feedback we received following the previous symposium. You told us you wanted more opportunities to network, so in 2017 Centre of the Cell offered special mini-tours for symposium attendees – a perfect opportunity to see inside a science education centre and get to know fellow symposium attendees better.
The day was split in to three main sections:
- Session 1: The Informal SciComm sector; what we do, how it works and how to get involved – This session looked at science culture, freelancing, and performance, with speakers from a range of different organisations and career levels.
- Session 2: The Formal SciComm sector; what we do, how it works and how to get involved – We explored the formal science communication sector; looking at the relationships researchers can have with science centres, festivals, and their host universities.
- Session 3: Broadening the participants and audiences for SciComm; how can we get past the usual suspects communicating with the usual suspects? With help from communications professionals, performers, researchers, and public engagement support staff, we looked at how science communication and public engagement can broaden it’s reach and become a more diverse sector.
Panel discussion with the speakers from Session 1: The Informal SciComm sector; what we do, how it works and how to get involved
Our speakers included:
- Steve Cross – Wellcome Engagement Fellow and creator of Bright Club and Science Showoff.
- Kimberley Freeman – Executive Officer for Public Engagement, and Manager of the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
- Emily Elias – freelance journalist and podcast producer.
- Alex Lathbridge – Alex mashes up science and hip-hop to make YouTube songs so catchy that epidemiologists describe them as “high risk”. He was the 2017 UK FameLab winner.
- Aimee Eckert – a cell biology PhD student and creater of Brighton’s most experimental cabaret: Dr. Jiggs Bowson’s Charming Science Friends.
- Katie Chambers – Head of Learning at Centre of the Cell, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
- Janet Stott – Deputy Director and Head of Public Engagement at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
- Sheila Kanani – Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society in London.
- Will Hunter – Manager of Einstein’s Garden at the Green Man Festival.
- Hana Ayoob – Programme Manager for Cheltenham Science Festival.
- Katie Cresswell-Maynard – Head of Education at Engineers Without Borders UK.
- Dom Galliano – Director of outreach at South East Physics Network (SEPnet).
- Sophie Scott – research scientist and Deputy Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL. Sophie was the 2017 Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer.
- Holly Powell-Jones – former radio and TV journalist and PhD student. Holly designs and delivers media training for academics and is one of the organisers of PubhD London.
- Hannah Cameron – freelance technology and design consultant and practitioner, Resident Designer at Fab Lab London.
- Dominic McDonald – Head of Education for the Royal Institution.
- Emily Dawson – Lecturer in Science Communication, based in the UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies.
- Natasha Simons – science presenter and show developer with a background in Materials Science. Produces and writes short demonstration videos for her YouTube channel Cracking Science.
- Arran Goodchild – responsible for over 150 STEM events across the UK, as part of The Big Bang Fair and The Big Bang Near Me Programme.