The Panel provides advice to Council and the STFC Executive on strategy, policies and programme balance for public engagement with STFC's science and technology, and provides new ideas for programme development. The work of the Panel covers the full STFC public engagement programme, delivered between STFC’s national laboratories and the Council’s head office in Swindon.
Members of the Advisory Panel for Public Engagement demonstrate expertise in the strategy, planning, delivery, and evaluation of a range of public engagement programmes. The panel draws from all disciplinary backgrounds, with members understanding the UK landscape of public engagement with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Colin Pulham is Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, with research interests in the crystallisation of heat-storage materials, pharmaceuticals, explosives, fuels, and lubricants, under a range of conditions including elevated pressures and temperatures.
He works closely with colleagues at the ISIS Neutron Facility and at the Diamond Light Source using neutron and X-ray techniques to study the structures of these materials.
He has a long-standing passion for public engagement both as a practitioner, through the delivery of public talks and interactive workshops, and as an advocate through the development of public engagement strategy.
Helen Bridle is an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University researching lab-on-a-chip systems, in which liquids are manipulated in microchannels the size of a single human hair.
Her research group use these systems to process drinking water samples to detect pathogens as well as in the purification of stem cell products for medical applications.
She won the Royal Society of Edinburgh Innovator’s Prize for Public Engagement in 2016 and has been involved in numerous outreach activities, including science festivals, schools projects and festival shows as well as organising activities with the British Science Association Edinburgh branch.
David Berman has been working on string theory for over 20 years. After graduating from Manchester, he completed his PhD in Durham with a stay at CERN before carrying out postdoctural research in Utrecht, Jerusalem and Cambridge where he was a fellow of Clare Hall.
His research focuses on the highly conceptual aspects of theoretical physics. He has a long held interest in public engagement and bringing science to artists and making contemporary science part of a general fine arts culture in the UK.
He has worked with Turner prize winning sculptor Grenville Davey over an extended period and has been part of numerous art/science collaborations involving various media.
Sophie Duncan has worked in public engagement for over twenty years. She is currently the deputy director of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, a role that includes overseeing NCCPE projects and communications.
Originally trained as a physicist she started her career at the Science Museum in London where she was involved in exhibition design and public events. She then became programme manager with Science Year – a government initiative to promote science to teenagers.
Following this, Sophie spent 7 years working at the BBC – leading the creation and delivery of national learning campaigns including Breathing Places which sought to inspire people to do one thing to help wildlife.
A skilled facilitator and trainer, Sophie is particularly interested in the role of evaluation to develop quality engagement. She is passionate about engaging with the public, and committed to finding more effective ways to support public involvement in higher education.
Richard Holliman is Professor of Engaged Research at The Open University, UK.
Through his teaching and engaged research, he explores relationships between academic researchers and non-academic stakeholders.
He is particularly interested in the interplay between digital technologies and different forms of knowledge and expertise, and how the practices of engagement shape and frame contemporary research.
Richard has been a member of APPE since 2016. Prior to this, he contributed to the STFC working group that produced the PEACE Report.
Having completed her degree in Physics and Philosophy at the University of Oxford, Katherine Leech trained as a secondary school science teacher - specialising in Physics - through the Teach First scheme.
She taught for nine years at schools that included inner-city comprehensives, international schools and boarding schools before moving to the University of York as their Physics Outreach Officer in 2013.
Katherine is passionate about public engagement and works with organisations including the Ogden Trust, Institute of Physics and Isaac Physics to create and deliver a varied programme of events for diverse audiences.
Chris Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he leads the Galaxy Zoo and Zooniverse projects.
Zooniverse is the world’s leading online citizen science platform, providing more than a million volunteers with the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to research.
He is best known as the co-presenter of the BBC’s Sky at Night program, and has a long-standing interest in informal engagement which has led him to work at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, serve as a Trustee at Royal Museums Greenwich and to a current position as a Visitor to the Ashmolean.
June McCombie is an academic chemical physicist / astrophysical chemist at the University of Nottingham where her professional activities encompass teaching and learning, research, public outreach, diversity and science communication.
She engages in outreach activity that runs from schools talks to' Pint of Science' events in local pubs to talks to amateur astronomical societies.
She feels strongly that engagement has to be a two-way process involving as much listening as talking, whereby the outcomes of HE and research are shared with the public. She proposes key questions to ask ourselves – who are your public? Which public are you part of?
Krishna Mooroogen is a Higher Research Scientist at the National Physical Laboratory working within the Materials group. He utilises multi-scale image analysis to support non-destructive testing for structural health monitoring and medical imaging applications.
Formerly a Solar Astrophysicist, he obtained his PhD at the University of Northumbria Newcastle and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Krishna has spent seven years collaborating extensively with organisations that promote excellent engagement, including the Institute of Physics, Engineers without Borders, South East Physics Network, Royal Holloway University and Maths Buskers.
Sarah Roberts is currently a senior lecturer at Swansea University. Her main role is Inclusivity lead in the College of Science, where she drives the Inclusivity, Learner Success & Widening Access agenda across the College.
After completing a PhD in Astronomy at Cardiff University, Sarah began working for the Faulkes Telescope Project, where she is now Director of Education. Sarah is passionate about outreach and public engagement and regularly gives English and Welsh talks, workshops and exhibits at both public events (such as Swansea Science festival, Cheltenham Science festival, Eisteddfodau, and Pint of Science) and in schools.