Conference Speakers and Session Chairs



Welcome & Introduction

Dr Nick Winterbotham, ASDC Chairman

Nick started his professional life as a Latin teacher in Norwich in 1976.

His first museum post was in Gt Yarmouth as a museum teacher with the Norfolk Museum Service in 1979. Since which time he has worked with:

He is currently Chairman of the Association for Science and Discovery Centres, though is about to step down so as to take up the Chairmanship of GEM. He is also pursuing his interests through his own company as a heritage, learning and leadership consultant.

He completed his doctorate in museum learning in 2005 and his interests are cycling, travel, theatre and literature. He is married, has two children and lives in Staffordshire.

Leigh-Anne Stradeski, Eureka! The National Children's Museum

Leigh-Anne is currently the Chief Executive of Eureka! The National Children's Museum where playful learning experiences and environments are used to help children learn about themselves and the world around them. Leigh-Anne has spent more than 16 years working in the children's museum field internationally, and is an advocate for the benefits of play and its impact on learning and well-being not just for children but throughout our lives. She has been involved with ECSITE/ASDC - UK since its inception and on the board since 2005.

Session 1 Chaired by Dr Nick Winterbotham

Keynote Speaker: Professor Sir John Holman

Sir John Holman is Professor in the Chemistry Department, University of York, UK and Senior Fellow for Education at the Wellcome Trust. He was Director of the National Science Learning Centre from 2004 until September 2010, and advisor to the English government as National STEM Director from 2006 until September 2010.

John has taught learners of science at all levels from 11 year olds to undergraduates. He has created curricula and written books for science learners of most ages in the UK and overseas. He is an adviser on education policy to several foundations.

After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge, John taught in a range of secondary schools and in 1994 he became Head of Watford Grammar School for Boys, an all-ability, multi-ethnic, science specialist school. From 2000 to 2004 he was Salters Professor of Chemical Education at the University of York. John was knighted in the 2010 New Year's Honours List, for services to education.

Dr Penyn Fidler, ASDC CEO

Dr Penny Fidler is the CEO of The Association for Science and Discovery Centres, a membership organisation representing over 50 of the UK's science and discovery centres and science museums. Together our centres attract 20 million visitors each year.

Penny gained her PhD in neuroscience from Cambridge University. She has six years experience of working in a landmark millennium science centre including during the initial build phase. She has created numerous interactive science exhibitions ranging on topics from the body and the human mind, to light, sports and physics phenomena. Penny ran her own Exhibitions and Neuroscience Consultancy prior to taking this directorship in September 2007.

ASDC encourages excellence and innovation in informal science learning by serving and linking the UK's Science & Discovery Centres, promoting best practices, and fostering successful partnerships and collaborations. This includes working with the UK government and other partners to inspire and engage people of all ages and all backgrounds with science and the world around us.

Session 2 Chaired by Leigh-Anne Stradeski

Liz Smallman, Eureka! The National Children's Museum

Liz has been at Eureka! for 15 years and is responsible for developing playful learning opportunities for school and family audiences.

Liz is a Primary Education graduate with a specialism in the Expressive Arts and Theatre in Education. As a former teacher Liz plays a pivotal role in the development of playful learning programmes delivered on site and off site, public events and exhibition developments. Externally she is the Regional Convenor of the Group for Education in Museums (GEM), a regular contributor to the Yorkshire Museums Training Group and represents Eureka! at the Association of Science and Discovery Centres. Until recently she was a governor of a local school and her writing experience includes being a columnist for the National magazine Child Education.

Dr Robin Clegg, Science and Technology Facilities Council

Robin Clegg is Head of Public Engagement at the Science & Technology Facilities Council, one of the UK's research councils. A PhD astronomer by training, he moved to the former PPARC research council in 1994 and since then has developed public engagement, outreach and education programmes linking many audiences with front-line research. "Linking audience with the huge range of science and technology areas that STFC covers is an exciting challenge" he opines. A highlight in his career was the public profile in the UK of the Large Hadron Collider project. He represents the UK to the European Space Agency's Education programme. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2011, for services to science.

Dr Teresa Anderson, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

Teresa is currently Director of the University of Manchester's Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank - a very exciting place that connects visitors to the 'Live' Astrophysics research being carried out at the Observatory, as well as showcasing research being carried out across the rest of the University.

Session 3 Chaired by Dr Ian Griffin

(see the Pecha Kucha page for full details of this session)

Session 4 Chaired by Dr Penny Fidler

Dr Amy Sanders, Wellcome Trust

Dr Amy Sanders works for the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds in research and public engagement.

Amy develops and manages seasons of activities to engage the public with biomedical science. Previous themes include 'Identity' and 'Dirt'. Amy is responsible for the Wellcome Trust's 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2011, and is currently planning a major season of activity to tie in with the 2012 Olympics.

In 2009 Amy led the Trust's activities marking Darwin Year which included experiment kits for every UK school, an animated fly-through of the evolution of life on earth shown on BBC 1, an award winning online game about genetics, a series of stand-up poetry workshops, and several art exhibitions.

Amy has worked in the public engagement with science field since 2003. Her PhD is in Evolutionary Ecology and she has a Diploma in Science Communication.

Session 5 Science of Cocktails

Dr Noel Jackson, Centre for Life

Noel Jackson, scientist (originally a chemist) and Head of Education at Newcastle's Centre for Life is also known as Life's resident mixologist and as a natural raconteur delivers 'science through the medium of alcohol' evening events which are sell out events with an established and still growing cult following.

As Head of Education he oversees LifeLab, the education department of the Life Science Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. LifeLab offers a wide range of curriculum-linked STEM workshops to groups of all ages, from across the North of England, in a range of purpose built teaching laboratories. It is the largest provider of formal taught science workshops in Europe, providing around 40,000 educational experiences to school students every year.


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