Science and Society Fellowship for UCL physicist
20 December 2006
Dr Maggie Aderin (UCL Physics & Astronomy) is one of the first recipients of a new fellowship scheme that allows researchers to share the wonder of their work with the public by devoting part of their working time to communication activities.
Organised by the Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the fellowship will allow Dr Aderin to use PPARC's research into the 'big questions' to engage young people, particularly ethnic minority groups, with science.
The other recipient of the award is Dr Paul Roche (Cardiff University) who will act as the National Schools' Astronomer. Engaging with the public is a vital part of modern scientific research, in order to be accountable to the taxpayers who fund it, create a society of scientifically literate citizens and to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Dr Aderin said: "Through my PPARC fellowship I would like to convey the joy and excitement of science to as many people as possible. As scientists we are doing amazing and quite mind-boggling things. I find these advances thrilling and I hope to share this with others. To achieve this, the scientific community needs to make science accessible and in this role I see myself as a translator, removing the jargon and highlighting the wonder."
Dr Aderin has already made an impact demonstrating to ethnic minority groups as well as to girls, that they, like her, can have a fun and exciting career in science. Maggie will spend 40 per cent of her time over the next two years working on outreach projects. In 2005, Dr Aderin made it through to the finals of FameLab, the science world's equivalent of Pop Idol.
Image: Dr Aderin