Public engagement for nuclear science

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The purpose of the fellowship is to act as an ambassador for the science carried out by STFC, in particular, nuclear science. I am passionate about my subject and feel that I am successful in conveying that passion to the public as demonstrated by my track record. I am a self-starter and very energetic. As an academic nuclear physicist, I am in the best position to communicate my enthusiasm to the general public. It is fair to say that nuclear science is a very contentious area. This poses challenges but it should be stressed that I am an independent scientist with no axe to grind for the nuclear industry or government. As a highly active researcher in this area, I can be impartial and concentrate on presenting information. It is in this way that I hope I will be able to obtain public trust. I propose to attack my main objective of greater public engagement through a number of different routes. I will try to balance national involvement with more concentrated regional activities which can then be cascaded by others through the country as a whole. I intend to focus on engaging the general public through mass media and interactions such as lectures and debates. I want to excite them with the science but also counter some of the misunderstandings that come from lack of information. A second way in which I intend to engage with the wider public is through strengthening my connection with the Yorkshire museum and its curator of astronomy, Martin Lunn. This will help to connect with families and a wider public. It is important also to bring nuclear science into schools in a more effective way than is done at present. Teachers find this a particularly difficult area both conceptually and also in terms of providing experimental examples. Remedying this is best achieved by working with key organisations like the National Science Learning Centre to devise and implement CPD activities for teachers. This will involve producing resources that teachers can use in the classroom. I will also try to inspire children by visiting schools to talk to them and act as a role model. I will design workshop activities which explain key topics relating to nuclear science. I will take these to a variety of outreach programmes for schools.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description It was not a research grant. This was a Science-in-Society Fellowship.
Exploitation Route I have continued the work from the Fellowship including running CPD courses for school teachers on nuclear physics and its applications.
Sectors Education

 
Description This Science-in-Society Fellowship entailed organising and running CPD courses for schoolteachers, as well as running outreach events for schoolchildren.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Education
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services