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News from BIG
  • 12 Jan 2015 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In or around Edinburgh with not nearly enough friends and contacts in science communication?

    Get along to the Hemma Bar, 75 Holyrood House, Edinburgh EH8 8AE

    Mon 26 Jan 2015

    7pm onwards

    Friendly BIG member Fiona Ross can tell you more if you need it.



  • 07 Jan 2015 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The BIG Event is delighted to be supported and hosted in 2015 by the John Innes Centre in Norwich on Wed 22 - Fri 24 July.

    Get more information about the BIG Event generally here

    Your session ideas can be put forward now until around the end of January on the BIG Event session site

    Bring a show, a workshop, something needing tweaking, something you think is fab; bring your skills in evaluating, managing, developing, presenting, fettling; bring your planetarium, your STEM tap-routine, your busks, your… well, your stuff. But make it hands-on, make it collaborative, make it a truly sharing contribution. BIG members really don’t like to be spouted at – we like to have a go at a thing so bring the thing, not a picture of the thing.

    The John Innes Centre will be fab, but different for BIG. It has a fantastic theatre for shows (pretty much perfect for the kind of work we do), lots of outdoor space, plenty of other breakout spaces – big meeting rooms, wee nooks and this year we will be offering the chance to book your overnight accommodation (at UEA across the road) through BIG’s website.

    As a research facility, what the centre doesn’t have is a public area – a collection or an exhibition – so this year we’d like to change things around a little so we create something of a temporary exhibition ourselves during the three days. But what it does have is research and as such offers BIG members a chance to reflect on injecting current science into our daily bread-and-butter work and make new acquaintances to help do that together.

    Right now, we particularly welcome offers to bring along shows and ideas to contribute to making a temporary exhibition. There’s lots of space for this; please get in touch with me if you’d like to have a chat about what might work.

    Rachel Mason

    BIG – STEM Communicators Network


  • 28 Nov 2014 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to generous support from Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum, The Little Event will take place again this year.

    Thursday 15 January 2015, 10am - 4.30pm

    Thinktank, Birmingham

    This one-day conference is for early-career STEM communicators who are keen to suck the knowledge and experience out of those who have been at it for ages. It is also an excellent opportunity to make professional and friendly relationships with others in similar work, or to update job-hunting skills for those hoping to take a next step in their careers.

    - Develop your presentation skills
    - Find out more about working in the business
    - Gather evaluation tit-bits
    - Pick up neat ideas
    - Begin to turn your own ideas into actual public engagements

    Go to the Little Event page

    The Little Event was devised by BIG member Toni Hamill (Centre for Life, Newcastle) who wanted to create a useful event that she would want at the beginning of her own science communication career. Something to give her access to lots of expertise, something to help her establish professional networks, something like the BIG Event – only little!

    If this event doesn't suit your needs, create your own.


  • 30 Jul 2014 10:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this year, the Exec consulted with members about whether it was time for a BIG rebrand and over 95% of them agreed that the Exec could proceed. The case for looking at a rebrand was multifold:

    • To reflect our evolved membership – we are no longer simply about ‘interactivity’

    • The name was limiting and may alienate potential new members and reinforce the false perception that we are about science centres

    • The 'OOC' logo was not representative of what we do and confusing

    • There were always inconsistencies in typeface and logo reproduction.

    We were aware that we had established brand, which is well-regarded and that the BIG name runs across other sub-brands (BIG-Chat, BIG Event etc). Many refer to us as simply “BIG” and the perception of this acronym is favorable. The full name is more misleading and alienating than the initials so we decided to retain some of the original brand and become simply, BIG, as this is how we are referred to colloquially anyway.

    The name 'BIG' alone needed to sit with some kind of 'descriptive strapline' so we decided to shorten our existing mission statement to "STEM Communicators Network" and thus the design of a new logo and a visual identity refresh was commissioned.

    After discussing various concepts, the Exec eventually settled on the new logo, which we know could be seen as a 'nurturing embrace' or 'a person lugging equipment' (Boxes and Gear). Whatever you see in the design, we are encouraged by the positive feedback we've had so far. The logo is here to stay and the new brand is being rolled out across our various media and literature over the coming weeks.

  • 16 Jul 2014 9:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Due to reaching the maximum number of delegates we can easily accommodate, registration for the BIG Event 2014 is now CLOSED.

  • 05 Jul 2014 7:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are inviting current members of BIG to stand for a position on the 2014/15 Executive Committee.

    ANY member can apply for ANY position on the Committee and no prior experience of Committee or Board work is required. It's always helpful to have a cross-representation of the entire membership on the Committee so we actively encourage applications from freelancers, science festivals, science centres, academic institutions, zoos, museums, funding and research bodies etc.

    We are a friendly bunch, we meet about 4 times a year somewhere central to all committee members (for which your expenses will be covered) and you'll be fully supported in your role by BIG's Administrator. You will receive a cost-only place at the BIG Event 2015 (currently £70).

    We are looking to fill all roles but in particular we are looking for a new Secretary and Treasurer as our current committee members are standing down this year.

    All positions will be subject to an online vote and the results will be revealed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Oxford on July 24th (you do not need to be present).

    To find out more about the positions, you can visit this page - or you may contact to arrange an informal and confidential chat.

    Nominations are to be received by 10am on 17th July by downloading the form here.

  • 08 Jun 2014 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Steve Crabtree, Editor of BBC Horizon is announced as Keynote Speaker for the BIG Event in Oxford next month. Steve took the position of Editor of Horizon at the BBC this year, so he probably knows a thing or two about creating ways to engage folks with current and relevant science. And he knows how to paint a submarine.

  • 30 Apr 2014 1:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Manchester Science Festival , in conjunction with BIG, are delighted to announce that nominations are now open for The Josh Award 2014.

    Established to recognise and support up-and-coming talent in science communication. The award recognises a defining moment in the career of a science communicator; a person who is a practicing scientist or someone who has chosen science communication as their profession. This defining moment could be a game changing project, piece of work, way of working or a key moment of change, creativity, innovation or passion. A defining moment in a career that has transformed science communication practice, inspired others or changed the landscape of science communication.The award provides the opportunity to become the science communicator in residence at the Manchester Science Festival 2014, developing and delivering a new project or event while show-casing best practise in the field of science communication.The winner will receive support to nurture their development in the field and their involvement in the Manchester Science Festival from both the Festival team and the British Interactive Group (BIG), the skills sharing network for individuals involved in the communication of science, technology, engineering and maths.

    Applications are welcomed from science communication practitioners who can be full-time, part-time, or practising science communication through various aspects of their jobs, e.g. as a researcher at a University. We welcome applications from individuals and groups. The Award is open to anyone involved in science communication in the UK (and is a UK resident).

    About Josh

    The Award is inspired by and named in memory of Josh Phillips who was Science Communication Officer at the Museum of Science and Industry. Josh was a much loved, much respected and highly talented science communicator whose outstanding career is commemorated with this award. Josh was also Chair of the British Interactive Group.

    For further information, and to download an application form, please visit
  • 24 Mar 2014 2:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Monday 19 May, 10am-5pm, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

    A BIG skills day designed inspire and develop the skills of those who work with early years groups in a science centre, museum or similar.

    Our latest Skills Day, developed and delivered in association with the National Museum of Scotland, will be a relaxed environment for the sharing of ideas and experience. We have three experienced Speakers who will develop your confidence and give you a fresh outlook on early years activities and what they can achieve.

    For just £30 for BIG Members including a light lunch.

    Book your place NOW here
  • 21 Mar 2014 5:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Registration is open for the BIG Event 2014 in Oxford. You can save £50 on the full conference rate now if you book and pay before 31st March!

    Register here
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