ASDC National Conference 2023: The Power in Purpose
ASDC National Conference 2023: The Power in Purpose, exploring the who, what, where, when and why of science engagement at W5 Science and Discovery Centre in Belfast
Thursday 28th & Friday 29th September 2023
The theme of the 2023 conference highlighted how we are drawn together as a values and purpose-driven sector, and the power of our national and collective action for STEM engagement and education.
Alongside our national partners and colleagues within university public engagement and outreach, science discovery centres and museums have the power to inspire, engage and include diverse audiences and communities with science. However with so many organisations facing multiple financial challenges, we need to continue building strength and resilience, working together as the UK network of award-winning science centres and museums.
Colleagues from around the UK came together at W5 Science and Discovery Centre to discuss the collective purpose that guides us in our mission for a society where science is accessible, inclusive, and valued as a fundamental part of everyday life.
Programme sessions covered the following key themes:
The role of informal science learning organisations for environmental sustainability and the future of our planet.
Tackling misinformation and exploring trust.
Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in science, including utilising STEM for positive youth and community outcomes.
Nurturing STEM skills for future science development, research and innovation.
Wellbeing of our workforce and the communities we serve.
Image credits Phil Magowen - BNL productions
Ben Bleasdale Director of Discovery Decade, Campaign for Science and Engineering Clio Heslop Head of Policy, Partnerships and Impact, British Science Association Meganne Christian Reserve Astronaut / Exploration Commercialisation, UK Space Agency Eugene Gilkes CEO, Include Me Consulting Alison Boyle Programme Manager, Education & Public Engagement, Science Foundation Ireland Jon Chase Science communication practitioner and trainer, author and science rapper, affiliated with Leiden University (GlobalSCAPE project) Luisa Massarani National Brazilian Institute of Public Communication Miranda Lowe Principal Curator of Crustacea, Natural History Museum Suzanne Hermiston Head of Schools and Online Learning, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Daniel Glaser Director of Science Engagement, The Royal Institution Sharon Heal Director, Museums Association Stephanie Bevan Public Engagement Manager, Institute of Physics, Wales Sophie Bartlett Educational Researcher and Evaluator, University of Cardiff and International Astronomy's Union Office for Astronomy for Education
“The entire conference was such an enriching and valuable opportunity. The programme offered something for everyone; spaces to learn, spaces to challenge, spaces of support, spaces to feel inspired and crucially spaces to feel united as a sector with colleagues and peers from across the UK.”
“I'm part of an incredible sector its a total privilege to be in and the conference made me feel re-energised and ready to take on challenges back at my own centre/in the day job!”
“The biggest takeaway for me was that this was a network full of innovative and inspiring people who know how to challenge, respond and be respectful at the same time. This was honestly the best conference I have ever been to.”