ASDC Trustees

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The UK Association for Science and Discoveries was set up as a charity in April 2009. It grew from Ecsite-uk which was, prior to April 2009, part of the British Science Association.

The chairman of ASDC is Dr Nick Winterbotham who has been in post for 4 years and will step down in September 2011. The current full board of Trustees is listed below.

At our AGM on September 15th 2011, a small number of our trustees will step down or re-stand to make way for new trustees from our member organisations. We therefore invite nominations for election to the Board of Trustees from CEO‘s and senior managers from ASDC member organisations.

ASDC is now inviting nominations from all member centres for election to the board of trustees. Please look at the nominations page for further details.

List of Trustees

The trustees currently on the ASDC Board are:

Trustee’s statements

Dr Nick Winterbotham

CEO, Thinktank, Birmingham’s Science Museum

I joined Thinktank four years ago and became Chairman of Ecsite-UK in 2007.

I’m committed to making an ever more powerful case for our national framework of science centres and museums in the UK.

Perceptions of ASDC’s worth reside in the great number of memberships we already enjoy, the strategic benefits we offer and the consensus on learning and science that we all represent.

The Government, Wellcome and the Museums Association already recognise in us an alliance that they wish to engage, promote and work with. My job will be to make sure that whenever there opportunities emerge for project funding, core funding or concept piloting that we are leading the charge.

We have made huge strides in the last year – opening our own office and setting ASDC up as a company and as a charity. I am now looking forward to enabling this dynamic new organisation to change up a gear and to be seen for the powerhouse of science, learning and professionalism that we are.

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Vicky Brightman

Head of Learning, Horniman Museum and Gardens

At the Horniman Museum I co-ordinate a broad offer to our diverse local audiences, using the natural history and world culture collections, our aquarium and animal enclosure, the library/archive, and special exhibitions in the gardens.

Previously I have occupied roles in learning, exhibition and audience development at the following ASDC member organisations: Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, The National Space Centre, Explore-at-Bristol and Techniquest.

What I bring

Manifesto

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Goéry Delacôte

Executive director of At-Bristol

I have over 20 years of experience in the field of science centres including starting La Cite des Sciences in Paris, heading the Exploratorium for 15 years in San-Francisco, founding and chairing the Exploradome in Paris on the model of the Exploratorium, former chairman of the board of the Palais de la decouverte in Paris and heading At -Bristol for the last 5 years.

I believe that we have to prioritise 2 kind of actions in UK:

The main vehicle to achieve those goals is to be an active participant in the newly created Association of science and discovery centres. On our own, we are sure to lose in a context which is very difficult and with a government which does not want to listen.

Together we may have a chance to win.

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Dr Anne Hunt

Biography

Degree in physiology/biochemistry and PhD in endocrinology. After four years in medical pharmacology I soon realised my passion was for science and learning outside the lab/classroom. Recent history includes four years with At-Bristol, latterly as their Director for Exhibitions and Programmes and five years with the National Trust as their Director of Community, Learning and Volunteering. I recently chose to work from home on projects to allow me to better balance work and family life.

What I bring

I would bring understanding of working across complex, multi-site organisations; shaping policy from practice; expertise in engagement through learning, volunteering and community engagement; and a personal passion for nature and the environment.

Manifesto

Conservation, whether heritage or environmental, is grounded in science. I would use this position to help develop more places - including heritage sites - as venues for engagement with science, in real places with real people; and to harness the power of human interest stories, past and present, to hook people into science. Conservation is about managing change, and the impact of climate change on the natural and built places in our care is a live issue. So there is a huge opportunity for science and heritage sectors to work better together to engage people with the challenges we face daily, and to work closer with partners like the Research Councils to do this. I would always champion approaches that are open, inclusive, involving and based on mutual benefit.

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Ian Griffin

CEO The Oxford Trust

Biography

I am CEO of The Oxford Trust, which operates the 'Science Oxford' science centre. After finishing a PhD in astronomy in 1990 I have served in a number of roles including; Director of the Armagh Planetarium, Director BCC Observatory & Planetarium in Florida, CEO Auckland Observatory in New Zealand, Head of Education and Outreach for NASA's Hubble Telescope Programme and Director of MOSI in Manchester. I am an ASTC Noyce Fellow for 2009/10, serve on the Boards of the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership, Venturefest Oxford and am a Trustee of the Oxfordshire Science Festival. I was also involved in the establishment of the Manchester Science Festival in 2007.

What I bring

Enthusiasm, and a knowledge of and a passion for science. Two decades international experience managing science centres, museums and planetariums together with knowledge of working with local, regional and national government.

Manifesto

The UK's future depends upon creating a generation of educated, literate and numerate citizens who will make discoveries, build businesses or become the workers that drive our economy. As shop windows for science, and as trusted centres of informal learning, ASDC members are the public's first PORT 82,46,8,174,128,179 tunities to engage and inspire our fellow citizens to take a lifelong interest in science. I believe that ASDC should continue to make connections between public, researchers, educators, high tech business and policy makers, and amplify these connections via our powerful national network. With millions of visitors each year, ASDC members play a key role in inspiring our society to face and solve the challenges of the 21st century.

If elected I will work with other Trustees to ensure that this important role is recognized and appropriately funded.

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Judith Harvey

W5, Belfast

After studying chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast, I worked for ten years in the international pharmaceutical industry, before joining W5 in 2003 where my breadth of experience has been used to develop and strengthen the business model. In addition to overall responsibility for the Education Team, my key roles include securing funding for W5 through sponsorship and funded programmes, maximizing income and commercial revenue, and developing, though more importantly delivering, the organisation’s business strategy.

Relevant Experience:

What I bring

Manifesto

As an effective and productive network, ASDC needs to work to develop strategic partnerships to ensure that Science and Discovery Centres achieve their potential of becoming the key providers of science engagement activities for the public across the UK. Key focus areas are:

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Dr Robin Holgate

Head of Interpretation and Learning, Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), Manchester

Previously Director of Luton Museum service, I joined MOSI in 2000. I have been involved with the development of our interactive gallery – Xperiment! (opened in 2001) – and the Manchester Science Gallery (opened 2004) and leading the development and delivery of STEM learning (both formal and informal) programmes. I work in partnership with industries and universities in our region to co-ordinate the annual Manchester Science Festival. I have presented at the MA and Ecsite conferences on the Museum’s public engagement with science programmes.

I have experience of fundraising and developing regional partnerships to deliver broad-based science programmes for a range of audiences.

Science centres and museums are uniquely placed to improve overall levels of science literacy and to inspire young people to consider pursuing a career in science and engineering – vital to the future of our economy. We need to seek ways of raising the science centre network profile through developing regional and national partnerships which will increase the impact we have in engaging people in science and enable us to maximise our ability to advocate to the government departments concerned with children, industry and skills for the resources to sustain science centres.

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Dr Robin Hoyle

Director of Science, Glasgow Science Centre

Robin became involved in science communication activity during his research posts in Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow before joining GSC in 2000.

His personal development at GSC has seen him move from frontline deliverer, through programme and exhibition development to strategic planning and implementation.

Robin leads a strong creative team of scientists and educationalists that aims to inspire, challenge and engage all learners in science.

What I bring

Manifesto

Science and discovery centres have the potential to become key hubs of science engagement activity across the UK.

This is an exciting time with external factors, such as the recently realised DIUS paper ‘A Vision for Science and Society’, offering a range of significant opportunities.

As a network we need to act collectively to establish a clear strategic framework that:

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Heather Mayfield

Head of Content, the Science Museum

I joined the Science Museum over twenty five years ago as a museum assistant in the medical department. Since 1993 I have been leading contemporary science initiatives in the museum including the Wellcome Wing, Dana Centre and most recently Launchpad.

If re-elected to the ASDC Board I would continue to support the work of the committee in moving potential funding opportunities out to member institutions, working on the recognition of our sector as fundamental in learning and cultural agendas and ensuring that the membership have a good value and quality experience from the organisation and its committee.

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Leigh-Anne Stradeski

Chief Executive, Eureka! The National Children’s Museumal

I am standing for election to the newly formed ASDC board having been a member of the ECSITE-UK Committee for the past four years. I am the Chief Executive of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire and have been involved in the discovery centre sector for 15 years both here and in Canada. My current professional voluntary roles include President of Hands-On Europe (European Association of Children’s Museums), board member of the Association of Children’s Museums in Washington, DC and a member of the international Advisory Committee for the National Children’s Museum in DC. I am also a trustee and Chair-Elect of the Community Foundation for Calderdale.

Understanding science in a holistic sense in the context of our everyday lives is essential for the current generation. This is central to our work at Eureka! and a major focus of all science and discovery centres. Since the inception of ECSITE-UK almost 10 years ago, great progress has been made on positioning SDCs as important cultural and scientific resources with an integral role to play in modern society, but much remains to be done. The transition to ASDC presents a new and exciting opportunity to build on past successes and to extend our profile and role encouraging public engagement with science. I am very keen to play an active part on the new board, representing the ASDC membership and helping to make sure science and discovery centres continue to fulfil their vital remit on a national scale.

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Peter Trevitt (re-election)

Chief Executive Officer, Techniquest

I am a physicist and exhibit developer with the good fortune to have worked with some of the real innovators in our field. As CEO at Techniquest, I am working with a great team, designing exhibits, developing new forms of outreach, and running a lively and popular centre. Wales provides a unique environment for operating a science centre, and we are able to explore methods of working that would be more difficult elsewhere.

During my time with the board we have come a long way, but there is still much to do. I am keen to achieve more collaboration on national projects which I believe has the potential to open up new income streams and to gain greater credibility for us as a sector. More networking for staff between centres is also important for me, and so is getting input and ideas from organizations who have similar aims to ours. As a pro-European, I am keen to continue to help establish the new ASDC in good and positive relationship with Ecsite.

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Phil Winfield

Director, INTECH Science Centre and Planetarium

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 detailed understanding of the skills needs of industry and extensive business experience.

My second career started in November 2002 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. Since 2002 the INTECH team has doubled the number of visitors and installed the largest capacity planetarium in the UK.

I have started the Small & Medium Centres group to encourage networking and sharing between the small and medium sized science centres and to ensure that we have a voice on the ASDC Board.

What I bring

  • 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.

Manifesto

  • 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.

Teresa Anderson Teresa Anderson

Director of the University of Manchester's Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank

Biography

I'm 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.

We're very fortunate to be in the process of developing new visitor facilities at Jodrell Bank, which are due to open in May 2011.

As well as giving people a link 'live' to Space and what our scientists are doing while they are there, our new Discovery Centre will also focus on the perspective that Astronomy gives us on the Earth - which is a very rare thing, a tiny pale blue dot in the vastness of Space - and will explore our need to look after our planet and its environment.

We're looking forward to forging new and innovative links across the ASDC network as our new facilities allow us to develop our visitor offer further.

What I bring to the committee

  • Strong background in and appreciation of STEM subjects and their importance for the UK
  • Years of experience in Science Engagement with a wide range of audiences, ranging from 'hands-on' projects overseas (with Practical Action) through coordination roles in the UK (Café Scientifique) to lobbying/policy and funding (e.g. NESTA)
  • Strong links with the ‘Live’ Research sector
  • Expertise in building strategic partnerships at many levels
  • Detailed knowledge of how the funding sector operates, having been both a 'funder' and a successful applicant for both capital and revenue funding
  • Passion, commitment, great communication skills and a 'can-do' attitude

Manifesto

People will only choose to pursue their interest in science - or support science - if they're motivated and inspired to do so.

Inspiration rarely originates solely in the delivery of information - it's much more likely to be sparked off by transformative emotional experiences - awe, surprise, excitement, wonder, curiosity, fun. These are the ‘Wow’ moments that so many scientists cite as the thing that switched them on to science.

I believe that our core role is to provide the places, events and moments where Inspiration happens.

In order to do this as organisations, of course, we need the basic foundations in place. Financial sustainability; constant evaluation and affirmation of the value of what we do; the sharing of experience and information. We also need political support - nationally, regionally and locally - which can only be built on strong communication of the value of what we do at all these levels.

These are challenging things to maintain, but collectively as the ASDC we are very well placed to do this - and to build our sector further so that its voice makes a real difference.

As our new Centre takes shape at Jodrell Bank, I’ very much welcome the opportunity to be able to work to strengthen ASDC and contribute to its future by being part of its Board.


Louise Smith Louise Smith

CEO, Dundee Science Centre & Satrosphere Science Centre

Biography

I am a social scientist and have worked in the science centre industry for 10 years, leading project and exhibition development, overseeing operations as well as fundraising and business strategy before becoming CEO of the UKs most northerly science centres. Running successful commercial centres allows us to achieve our mission and wider vision and therefore has to be embedded in the culture of the organisation.

What I could bring to the committee

Running two science centres in Scotland has allowed me to experience the true benefit of sharing (the team, the resources and the creativity). Too often science centres work in isolation and therefore we fail to build up a National picture and evidence base of the values of science centres within their communities, and therefore the country.

I work in regional and Scotland-wide networks for public engagement, and engagement with the Scottish Government. As a representative of the smaller science and discovery centre, I believe that the smaller centres can play an equal role in innovation and science centre development.

Manifesto

I have two main manifesto themes - science and culture, and science centre as hubs for public engagement.

Science is not fully embedded in the cultural mix of our cities and regions in the way that art, heritage and other leisure pursuits might be. Reaching and providing meaningful engagement opportunities for a diverse audience means working with local and National government, aligning with wider National strategy and demonstrating to Government that we can deliver against their objectives, and are therefore worthy of long-term investment.

Science Centres have been innovators in educational pedagogy since their inception; they bring together active scientists and researchers, teachers, children, community groups and adults - all the people that make up a community. The science centre is the central hub where these groups can come together and reaching all of these groups is key to our success. Through sharing of ideas, programmes, exhibits and best practice we ensure that all science centres attain high standards thus improving the perception of science centres in the UK.

I'm really excited about what ASDC has achieved so far, and would like to be a part of driving the mission forward.


Ian Simmons Ian Simmons

Science Communication Director, Centre for Life

Biography

I have a degree in Biology, a PGCE and an MA in Museum Studies and have been involved in hands-on science for 22 years now. I started out by setting up the original hands-on galleries and science playground at Snibston Discovery Park, then originated the concept for Inspire Discovery Centre in Norwich, which I went on to set up and run with Science Projects. I subsequently joined Techniquest where I was Operations and Marketing Director and Head of Fundraising before moving north to become Science Communication Director at the Centre for Life. I was one of the group that set up the British Interactive Group in the early 90's and served on its committee in a variety of capacities for nearly 10 years. I was also on the first Ecsite-UK committee representing small science centres, stepping down when I moved to Techniquest.

I have done just about everything in a science centre that doesn't require an accountancy qualification, from cleaning the loos to schmoozing politicians and my excitement about their value and potential remains undiminished. I remain committed to taking science centres forward into new and exciting areas of engagement, creating effective and satisfying ways of involving new audiences in the experience and deepening the links we have with our existing audiences.

What Can I Bring to ASDC?

  • Over 20 years in the field
  • Experience of running small, medium and large centres in both the charitable and public sectors
  • Experience of advocacy for science centres at the highest levels
  • An understanding of the practical challenges facing science centres in the current economic climate

Manifesto

ASDC and Science Centres in the UK are at a crossroads. The newly stand-alone ASDC has to stand alone and demonstrate its continuing worth in a world where one of the core purposes of its predecessor, Ecsite-UK - advocacy for government funding, is no longer tenable, while science centres themselves have to face the prospect of regular exhibition renewal in a climate where multi-million pound lottery grants are no longer easily available. I want to see an ASDC that fosters enhanced networking between centres, particularly at a management level, encourages creative self-sufficiency and relevance to local communities. I also want to see ASDC act as a catalyst for projects of the kind exemplified by the Question of Taste collaboration that allow centres to build capacity and audiences to keep themselves fresh by maximizing synergies and the sharing of resources.


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