Wednesday 27th of September, The Royal Society, London
The ASDC board of Trustees is made up of 16 CEOs and senior
managers from leading UK science museums and science and discovery centres, and
drives the strategy and vision of the UK Association for Science and Discovery
rotation of the board, each trustee re-stands for election every three years at
Below are the candidates
that successfully stood for election to the ASDC Board at the 2016 ASDC AGM.
Terry O'Connor, STFC
(Trustee: Stood for Re-Election)
Scot Owen, Techniquest
Glyndwr (Trustee: Stood for Re-Election)
Linda Leuchars, Dundee
Adrian Lutton, W5
of Communications, Science and Technology Facilities Council
I am the Head of
Communications for the Science and Technology Facilities Council, one of
Europe's largest multi-disciplinary research organisations and a proud partner
of the ASDC through programmes such as Explore Your Universe.
STFC operates visitor
centres and active Public Engagement programmes at the Royal Observatory
Edinburgh, Daresbury Lab in Cheshire, and Rutherford Appleton Lab in
Oxfordshire - all three are ASDC members in their own right. STFC is also a
corporate member in recognition of our major role in delivering and funding a
very broad Public Engagement programme nationally.
My personal role is
as the strategic lead for communications, including reputation, political
engagement, events, issues management, media and online. I also lead for the
collective Research Councils on major international showcases for UK research,
most recently the successful ESOF meeting in Manchester.
STFC's refreshed PE
strategy, and our strategic communications plan, places a very high priority on
building the UK's science capital. We recognise that true STEM engagement must
include parents and teachers as well as students, and that we must focus more
effort on encouraging 10-13 year olds to continue STEM study, including through
highlighting the personal career options open to them in the wider STEM
Prior to joining STFC
in 2008, I held similar positions for a range of Australian Government
organisations including the national air traffic control company and the
national trade facilitation body. My early career was as a reporter for the
Australian national wire service AAP, rising to Chief Political Correspondent,
before working for a Government minister as press secretary and then senior
I bring to the board
Passion, dedication and commitment
Deep understanding of the UK political and
governmental environment affecting the science base and Association
Policy development and influencing skills
Personal commitment to improving the take-up
of STEM subjects across the UK
Very high level strategic communications and
stakeholder engagement skills, including in building new and innovative
Strong links with the particle and nuclear
physics, and astronomy communities, and a strong network of personal and
professional connections across the UK and international science
My skills lie in
influencing and engaging, especially in the political sphere, and in building
enduring and deep collaborations to deliver strong results. I am standing for
re-election as I believe my initial statement is still valid: while the
individual Centres do a fantastic job in promoting STEM, we still do not
receive the wider national recognition that's deserved for our contribution to
education and societal well-being. I want to contribute to creating the ASDC as
the "go-to" organisation for national STEM programmes.
I said in 2012 that
if the ASDC didn't exist, we'd want to create it. We have it, it delivers
results, and is ready to do more. I look forward to helping do so.
Manager, Techniquest Glyndwr
I have an
undergraduate master's degree (MChem) in Medicinal Chemistry. My early career
was spent in the pharmaceutical industry as an Analytical Chemist and latterly
as a Process Validation Scientist. I was fortunate to work for some of the
biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Glaxo Wellcome and Wockhardt
UK. After leaving the pharmaceutical industry, I began a teaching career which
took me to Madrid as well as the UK, teaching Chemistry and general science to
11-18 year olds.
In March 2011, I
joined Techniquest Glyndwr as the Education Manager to take on some exciting
new challenges with the rest of the team. I have overseen the opening of a new
facility comprising a Lego Education Innovation Studio and a Live Science
laboratory and the development of several new interactive workshops. As an
education team we have rolled out innovative new projects such as an outreach
intervention programme for more able and talented students and an employer
engagement programme for 14-16 year olds. Since 2011 I have shared
responsibility for overall senior management of Techniquest Glyndwr, working
alongside the Operations Manager. I am currently reading for an MBA at Glyndwr
University and hope to complete this in summer 2014.
In addition to my
role at Techniquest Glyndwr, I currently sit on the regional committee for the
Royal Society of Chemistry and the British Science Association as well as being
an active member of the Association for Science Education.
An appreciation of the combined importance to
the UK of STEM industry, STEM education and Science Communication.
A mix of experience in science engagement,
STEM industry and education.
A passion for science and technology,
particularly chemistry and robotics.
Expertise in building strong relationships
with industry partners, academics and professional institutes.
Experience of operating within the environment
of a complex mix of contrasting stakeholders.
As a network of
science centres and science communication organisations ASDC members aim to
inspire all sections of society - ensuring we provide for the full spectrum of
socio-economic backgrounds and abilities. If elected I will champion projects
and initiatives targeting under-represented groups: particularly those with
additional learning needs and those from low income families.
sustainability of all organisations is dependent on their long-term financial
stability; in my opinion diversification is key to achieving this and the ASDC
members lead the way. Embracing change and new technologies has always been
important; however looking at how we can utilise 'mission enabling' activities
more effectively or work with other sectors can open up new funding streams. I
believe that developing approaches to work closely with industry will help to
provide a supply of inspired STEM professionals thereby reducing the existing
As a representative
of a comparatively small science centre I would value working with the ASDC
board to embrace and support the diversity of its members and ensure that these
smaller independent centres have a voice.
Chief Executive, Dundee Science Centre
A graduate of
Pharmacology and with an MPhil in Biomedicine, I entered science communication
whilst still working in research, leading to a full-time career change into
Dundee Science Centre in April 2008. During my first 6 years in post, I led and
managed a wide range of Science Learning and Public Engagement initiatives and
teams. This included learning programmes for children and young people in
formal education settings, exhibition and community engagement projects, Dundee
and Fife Science Festivals, and professional development for teachers and
Being appointed Head
of Development in 2014, I had additional responsibility for supporting the CEO
to provide strategic direction for the overall centre, leading fundraising and
development projects, and overseeing the ongoing performance of the four
learning departments. Since February 2015, I have fulfilled the role of Interim
Chief Executive, and during this time I have driven forward the fundraising
campaign and development work for the centre's £1.8 million capital expansion
project: a new medical technology exhibition, 80-seat lecture theatre, learning
spaces, meeting rooms and office. The new facilities are to bring together STEM
and education professionals, to co-create and deliver innovative learning
experiences for schools, colleges, universities, industry and the public
I would bring to the
ASDC Board hands-on experience of a wide range of science learning projects,
together with a knowledge and passion for collaboration, sharing best practice
and widening access to science.
ASDC has been a
hugely valuable resource for me whilst I've grown as a science learning
professional over the past 8 years. It has also been a very valuable partner
and support mechanism for Dundee Science Centre as whole. I have personally
been involved in ASDC's national projects and have experienced first-hand how
beneficial these can be from the perspective of a participating science centre.
Using this knowledge,
experience and enthusiasm, I would help to raise recognition and support for
the vital work of ASDC and the wider informal science learning sector. I would
support ASDC to provide new and existing opportunities for sharing best
practice, co-developing and co-delivering activities, and expanding the ASDC
membership. Ultimately, I strive to assist ASDC to build capacity across the
sector so we can expand our reach and have a growing and positive 'impact'
locally and nationally, as keystones for lifelong science learning for all.
of Exhibitions, Design and Marketing , W5
As Head of
Exhibitions, Design and Marketing at W5 in Belfast since its inception and
opening, I have a breadth of experience in the strategic development and
operations of interactive science and discovery centres. In this role I have
worked in partnership with a wide and diverse range of national and
international organisations in developing cutting edge exhibitions and events.
As Brand Manager I am responsible for the delivery of our core ideology and
ethos, ensuring that our core values and brand integrity pervade the entire
organisation and are the driving force behind everything that we do.
I have been working
in the fields of graphic, exhibition and interactive design for over three
decades. I began my career as a graphics and exhibition designer with the
Department of Agriculture and The Forest Service of Northern Ireland. I briefly
worked as freelance illustrator and even more briefly as a comic artist before
joining the Ulster Museum Exhibition Design Team in 1989.
When work began on
the Odyssey Science Centre project, which became whowhatwherewhenwhy-W5, I was
seconded on to the development and design team. During the development phase of
the project I met and worked with a wide range of inspirational individuals and
companies in what was probably the most intense learning period of my life. I
left the museum in 2000 to take up the role as designer in W5 prior to its
opening in March 2001. As a a member of the senior management team I head up an
extremely dedicated team developing exhibits, exhibitions (permanent and
temporary), programmes, shows and events. I have worked with a wide range of
funders, sponsors and partners over the years, from the Northern Ireland
Executive, Millennium Commission etc to companies like Aardman Animations.
In the last two years
we have begun a programme of redevelopment which has seen the transformation of
our under eights area into The Town of Discovery and the installation of our
multi-storey climbing sculpture - Climbit. These alongside seasonal events, new
education programmes and a dynamic science theatre show resulted in W5
achieving its best visitor numbers ever last year, with over 260,000 visitors.
We celebrated our 15th birthday in March this year and are now working on a
strategic development plan to take W5 to the next stage in its evolution, to
create more compelling experiences and to attract a wider audience in even
I think from my
biography we have already established that I'm not a scientist! But I have
learnt a lot of science 'stuff' in the last 20 years. It's surprising, I know,
but working in and visiting a lot of Science Centres will do that to you!
Subsequently I have developed a real passion for the role that Science Centres
play in the promotion of the STEM (and STEAM) agenda.
What do I bring to
the table? Well, I bring a different perspective; I bring a passion for
creating exciting, immersive, new experiences which are accessible to everyone.
I want to inspire, educate and entertain our visitors. I want to make learning
fun, to create exhibitions and experiences that will encourage families, from
all walks of life, to learn and play together. We must never forget the value
of play in what we do as a sector!
Personally I would
value, and benefit greatly from, the opportunity to work with colleagues from
across the sector. After a period of absence for a few years it would be good
to represent W5 and Northern Ireland at this level again.