Candidates for election as Trustees
We are delighted to announce that the following candidates were appointed to the ASDC board on 15 September 2011:
- Phil Winfield, Intech (re-election)
- Kenny Webster, Thinktank
- John Ellison, Eden Project
Their manifesto's can be read below:
Director, Intech Science Centre & Planetarium
I My first career consisted of 23 years in industrial research and development, product design and development, product management and marketing in radiation cross-linked polymer technology; culminating in the post of European R&D Director for a US multinational; this gives me a practical knowledge of the skills needs of industry.
My second career started when I became Director of INTECH Science Centre & Planetarium. During my time at INTECH I have become involved in all aspects of the Centre (as you have to if you are in a small or medium Centre!), science communication, exhibit design, workshop development, teacher liaison, fundraising, business and project management.
What I bring to the committee
- Representation of the small and medium sized science centres which is essential if ASDC is to reflect the views and needs of its members.
- A detailed understanding of all aspects of running a sustainable science centre on a tight budget - and therefore the critical needs.
- A passion for effective science communication and recognition of our sector as the unique hub where science meets society.
- A willingness to put in time and effort to help strengthen ASDC
- Small and medium centres have specific needs which should to be recognised and addressed; they also have a lot to offer. Greater integration of the small and medium sized centres in ASDC will build a stronger and richly diverse STEM engagement platform.
- We need to further strengthen our network to achieve the synergy that will be generated by the sharing of best practice and content - I am a passionate believer in sharing; there is needless duplication of effort in our sector; we can all achieve much more by sharing.
- We all know that despite tough financial constraints we are delivering high quality STEM enhancement and enrichment activities and facilitating public engagement. Collectively we form a unique nationwide hub where science meets society at every level. We must continue to pressurise the Government to recognise the enormous value of that hub and to support it.
Informal Learning Manager, Resident Scientist and Duty Manager, Thinktank Science Museum
As a former post doctoral research biochemist, I am passionate about science. Since moving to Thinktank 7 years ago, I have become even more passionate about engaging visitors with the historical and future relevance of science and its applications. As well as being the Resident Scientist within Thinktank, I also manage the Informal Learning and Access & Inclusion Teams.
What you feel you would bring to the ASDC Board
I bring a strong scientific background and understanding of University research programmes and funding. I also have a lot of experience of working directly with visitors and in particular (as a Thinktank Duty Manager) in managing differences in visitors' expectations and realisations. The visitor experience is and should be the most important driving force within science centres/ museums and anything that we can do to improve this should be at the top of our agenda.
Whilst there are 19 million visits to ASDC member organisations per annum, there is still a lot of room for growth. We must find ways of working together more efficiently to secure funding as a sector and to improve the quality of what we develop and deliver as a result. There are still major untapped audiences of current 'non-visitors' who do not use our services; for some, lack of disposable income is genuinely a factor, but for many it is an excuse that we accept at face value rather than addressing the real issue of perceived value in science centres and museums. As the Research Excellence Framework within Universities becomes more of a focal point for academics, their need to work with the public engagement sector will become more significant and the subsequent evidencing of 'impact' by them and ourselves needs to be demonstrated in a clear and coherent manner. These challenges are not insurmountable, but do require vision and cooperation between ASDC organisations.
Head of Education Strategy Eden Project
Research:- Applied medical and biological research, (cancer, fertility); Formal learning sector:- science teaching across wide range of schools and locations from urban to rural, from high achievers to challenging young people. Non Formal sector:- 10 years Royal Botanic Gardens Kew's Education Officer & manager developing teams and delivering programmes ; Eden Project since 2004, currently Head of Education Strategy . Extensive experience of structured learning and free learning across both built and natural environments, developing and implementing education strategy for Eden Project as a social enterprise.
What could I contribute to the ASDC board
- Passion for transformational potential of hands on Science in context of real world experience
- An adaptable, cross-disciplinary thinking style able to listen, see opportunities for synergy and connect widely differing perspectives and experience. Well developed skills of analysis and synthesis. Clear understanding of both non formal and formal learning sectors, commercial, strategic and policy challenges in which visitor attraction and Science discovery sectors operate.
- Political and business intelligence skills to establish relationships, build trust and strategic support enabling policy and funding development. Experience in building collaboration and strategic partnerships in education, learning and training across government, business and third sectors. Successful funding development for programmes to deliver local to international reach:- eg programmes supported through corporate sponsorship, European Social Fund, Government departments charitable foundations and BIG Lottery fund.
- Relevant committee / charity board experience :- chair UK Science Council Science & Sustainability group (3 yrs); board director UK Botanic Gardens Education Network (15 yrs); Higher Education and Funding Council for England (hefce) sustainable development (5yrs) & carbon reduction (2yrs) committees; ASE - elected London representative (6yrs); Real World Learning/Learning Outside Classroom Natural Environment Sector (7years); Cornwall workforce development group (3yrs) overseeing European Social Funded training and learning support programmes over £100m aggregate value. Judge for UK Rolls-Royce Science Prize - Project Enthuse and National Network of Science learning Centres. Judge for Eden Environment Award.
- Clear recognition of strategic value of intellectual capital and talent for R&D and advanced manufacturing for a sustainable UK low carbon economy and applied STEM skills for innovation and sustainable economic development.
- Experience of applied STEM - technical and intellectual research, extensive experience in the non-formal learning sector delivering, developing and leading structured programmes for learners, professionals and public , supporting immersive free-learning experiences, from local onsite programmes to multi-stakeholder international partnerships.
- Understanding of some transformational paradigms for learning to fit us for demographic, economic; social and environmental resource challenges of 21st Century and the critical role for inspiration; knowledge and applied skills in STEM innovation.
- Eden Project team and colleagues can catalyse support for and work with, partner networks to showcase the value of all our contributions where people of goodwill work in common purpose.
- As a network ASDC should service its members with regular political and business intelligence to enable them to collectively exert influence and plan strategically for commercial and policy environments affecting their futures.
- ASDC members should collaborate to research and evaluate economic and social impact and outcomes where these can be clearly linked to the sector's activity. ASDC has to be a clear voice representing the value of the Science and Discovery centres resource as critical to the UK s future economic wellbeing. ASDC should thus collaborate and learn with institutions and nations where systematic evaluation of free-choice learning and science engagement is well developed and developing.
- ASDC should develop collaborative practical programmes across ASDC members which are adaptable for local contexts and build capacity for member organisations.
- ASDC should give systematic attention to the values of heart and hand as well as head in inspiring and engaging Science achievement and participation. ASDC should exercise business and political intelligence to achieve recognition and support for the sector's role in shaping the future.