Putting Science and Engineering at the Heart of Government Policy - Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee Contents



  We achieve our impact through four national programmes, in concert with the Regional and Branch network, and in partnership with a wide range of organisations.

    —  The Festival of Science takes place in a different university city each year. It brings together the best in science (including social science), engineering and technology to celebrate scientific advances, explore the latest developments and encourage open discussion about science-related issues that interest large numbers of people, directly and through huge media attention. The impacts of this, Europe's largest science festival, include massive national (and locally regional) press coverage, event attendances of 50,000-130,000 depending on the venue, and legacy relationships or activity in the host area (for example many recent science festivals such as York, Cheltenham and Leicester are legacies of the Festival of Science or National Science Week).

    —  National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW) is a coordinated nationwide grassroots celebration and discussion of all aspects of science, engineering and technology through local, regional and national events. It is funded by the DIUS, orchestrated by the British Science Association and addresses varied public audiences, with a particular emphasis on young people and families. The impacts of NSEW, based in 2008 on some 3,500 events nationally and 1.4 million directly involved participants, in addition to huge local and regional media coverage, include the continued involvement of hundreds of event organisers in reaching their publics and the bringing in each year of new presenters and new audiences, building national capacity in public engagement and widening access.

    —  The CREST Award scheme is the only national accreditation scheme for project work in science, engineering and technology in the UK. The programme addresses young people between 11 and 19 and their teachers, and involves scientists and engineers as mentors. In 2007 CREST * Investigators was launched, extending the scheme from age five in primary schools. CREST is a major element in the "STEM enrichment" landscape, and the expertise we have developed through CREST and NSEW have led to our co-ordination of the Science and Engineering Clubs initiative, our involvement in the Directors for STEM enrichment schemes and in delivery of the National Science Competition. CREST is also a centrepiece of the UK Young Scientists' and Engineers' Fair, directly initiated by the British Science Association.

    —  The Science in Society programme both supports the science communication community and encourages members of the public to "have their say" in science-related matters that concern them. The programme operates through the annual Science Communication Conference and specific initiatives including Media Fellowships, Perspectives and the community x-change. The science communication conference is viewed as the major networking and updating event of the year.

    —  The UK network of Regions and Branches organises programmes for local audiences organised by volunteers. The Regional staff team supports the volunteers in Branches and promotes activity during National Science and Engineering Week, and is active in the networking of science communication activity in their region.

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