Some highlights from 2015

The refreshed and refocussed British Science Festival took place in Bradford with a programme that celebrated cutting-edge research and the intersection between science and society.

The start of a hugely successful new programme, Future Debates, giving people the opportunity to debate and discuss the impact of how advancing new technologies and research will affect their lives.

The early development of a new digital platform that will allow educators to register their students for the CREST Awards and search resources and ideas to help them support their students’ hands-on practical science investigations.


British Science Week event attendees


People participated in BSA activities


Total audience for all BSA activities

A license to

Our Education team delivers a range of inspirational projects designed to help young people feel more comfortable and confident with science. We work closely with teachers from all backgrounds, as well as other education specialists, organisations and youth groups to foster a generation of young people that actively engage with science in their lives, and don’t see it as ‘just’ a school subject.

CREST Awards

The CREST Awards is the BSA’s flagship education programme. It offers 5-to-19 year olds opportunities to run their own investigation projects in a range of disciplines. CREST is delivered in schools, youth groups and at home, and shows young people what being a scientist is like by encouraging them to find the answers to their own questions.



young people participated in the CREST scheme

546,025 hrs

were spent in secondary schools through our CREST programme


of those were awarded to girls


CREST teachers and volunteers

National Science +
Engineering Competition

Open to all 11-to-18-year olds living in the UK and in full-time education, the National Science + Engineering Competition recognises and rewards young people’s achievements in STEM project work.

The Competition is run in partnership with Engineering UK and is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The National Finals are held each year at The Big Bang Fair, which in 2015 took place at the NEC in March.

British Science Week

A ten-day programme of grassroots activities and events, British Science Week is the largest national celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for people of all ages.

With thousands of events happening nationwide, our education team work closely with teachers across the UK to provide them with ideas, quizzes, activities and demonstrations to bring their classrooms alive with science during the Week.


young people participated in
competitions and other activities

Making Science Real
in Schools

Working with the British Council, the BSA's Education is the UK partner in the Making Science Real in Schools (MARCH) European education project. Bringing together nine partners from seven countries, the project allows educationalists from across Europe to collaborate and share ideas to better inform best practise for all. In 2016, we will be hosting a major conference here in the UK for all of the international partners.

Creativity can
bring science
out of its silo

The national and public-focussed programme for the campaign includes citizen science partnerships and collaborations with organisations from across different sectors. We produce a range of national and regional activities – working alongside our group of dedicated volunteers, local partners and supporters – that aim to grow and diversify the community of people who are interested in and involved with science.

British Science Week

Our Engagement team produces the national and public-focused programme for the Week, including citizen science partnerships and collaborations with organisations from across different sectors.

We successfully piloted a grant scheme for community groups, which allowed us to fund and support local groups to put on activities.

In 2016, we are looking forward to expanding the scheme so that we can reach even more people.

We worked with


community organisations

including The Africa Caribbean Parents' Forum, Muslim Women Centres and a number of coding clubs for girls

UK Science Festivals Network

The UK Science Festivals Network serves to unite, celebrate and develop science festivals in the UK.

In late 2014, we took over the administration of the Network, and have been raising the national profile of science festivals across the UK as well as helping the whole Network share best practice.

New programmes

2015 saw the advent of several new programmes, including Future Debates, and Science in the City – a collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry and the UK Science Festivals Network.

We also piloted Problem Attic, a new type of event where researchers talk to the audience about an area of their work that they feel needs new ideas and fresh thinking.

people reached through
Science in the City scheme

British Science Festival

As Europe’s longest-standing national science event, the British Science Festival has a long history of bringing the world’s leading academics to a different city in the UK each year.

In 2015, the Festival went under a refresh. This new approach to the Festival came out of the BSA’s new vision: to position science at the heart of our culture and society. We wanted to celebrate the importance and societal impact of science and to encourage more people to engage with and enjoy science.

of people surveyed who were disengaged with science were more interested after attending a BSA event

Taking part in
the national

The Cultural Development team’s work includes research, policy, campaigns, and thought leadership, as well as activities for professional audiences such as science communication and public engagement professionals. The team works with business leaders, opinion formers, policy makers and commentators across different sectors of industry and public life from business to the arts.

Media Fellowships

The Media Fellowships scheme aims to break down barriers between scientists and journalists. The scheme has been running for nearly 30 years, and has placed over 250 researchers, technicians, doctors and engineers at media

outlets across the UK. Fellows were placed at BBC Breakfast, the Londonist and the Daily Mirror in addition to placements with the science desks at major daily broadsheets and BBC Radio Science.

In 2015

we placed 11 scientists and engineers

within media organisations

Science Communication

The 2015 conference, held in Manchester, was an extremely successful event, with approx. 400 delegates. The Conference brought together delegates from a range of backgrounds and experience levels to debate and discuss best practice in science communication.

of the delegates agreed that the Conference had exceeded or met their expectations

In 2016, we will be developing a range of events, training and networking opportunities for science communication professionals at different stages for their careers to better reflect the needs of the community.

Science Matters

Ahead of the 2015 General Election, our ‘Science Matters’ initiative involved a series of interviews with science spokespeople from the major political parties asking them about the issues that matter to people and how they would involve the public in debates about advances in science and technology that affect our daily lives.

By the end of May 2015, the interviews had been
viewed over 4,000 times on the BSA's YouTube channel.

Not just for scientists: a new campaign

In autumn 2015, we launched a new, thought leadership campaign that seeks to bring the BSA’s vision – of a world where science is a fundamental part of society and culture – to life through ideas, discussion and collaboration.

The first stage of the campaign saw the publication of a collection of essays and we also released an animation exploring what the term ‘science’ means to the BSA.

2016 will see more developments in the campaign as we seek to involve more people to have their say about how we make the BSA’s vision a reality.


Summarised Financial Statements


Income and expenditure 2015 2014
Voluntary income 1,259,857 1,725,248
Investment income 20,985 20,302
Income generated by charitable activities 1,371,684 1,163,048
Total income 2,652,526 2,908,598
Cost of generating voluntary income 370,946 317,151
Investment management costs 11,655 11,452
Cost of charitable activities 2,072,219 2,345,360
Governance costs 44,903 56,688
Total expenditure 2,499,723 2,730,651
Investment gains 25,474 25,975
Net movement in funds 178,277 203,922
Balance sheet 2015 2014
Assets & liabilities
Fixed assets 995,270 943,289
Current assets 1,684,950 1,638,797
Current liabilities (437,085) (517,228)
Net assets 2,243,135 2,064,858
Restricted 229,880 83,841
Designated funds 1,675,682 1,323,080
Unrestricted 337,573 657,937
Total funds 2,243,135 2,064,858

Reporting on summarised financial statements

The financial information above is extracted from the Trustees' report and annual accounts 2015 which has been audited by Mazars who gave an unqualified audit opinion. The auditors have confirmed to the Trustees that these summarised financial statements are consistent with the full financial statements contained in the Trustees' report and annual accounts 2015. The Trustees' report and annual accounts 2015 was approved by the Trustees and signed on their behalf on 30 June 2016. The Trustees' report and annual accounts 2015 will subsequently be submitted to the Charity Commission and the Registrar of Companies. These summarised financial statements, correct at the time of publishing, may not container sufficient information to gain a complete understanding of the financial affairs of the charity. The Trustees' report and annual accounts 2015 may be downloaded from

Volunteering image

Scientific sections

Our 17 scientific sections are comprised of volunteers from academia and industry covering all areas of STEM. They are integral to the British Science Festival programme, curating a quarter of the event content each year, as well as advising us on the latest developments in their own fields and on ways we can improve our programmes.

The sections and their recorders are:

Agriculture and Food
Nicola Stock

Archaeology and Anthropology
Fiona Coward

Biological Sciences
Penny Fletcher

Sharon George

David Dickinson

Richard Churches

Radu Sporea

Susan Watt and Anne-Maria Brennan

Richard Waller

Jo Wright

History of Science
Fern Elsdon-Baker

Mathematical Science
Tony Mann

Medical Science
Andrew Holding

Physics and Astronomy
Kate Lancaster

Antonia Hamilton

Science and the Arts
Heather Barnett

Sociology and Social Policy
Rob Meadows and Emmanuelle Tulle


Our 30 volunteer-led branches help extend the reach of the BSA’s activities across the UK by working at a grassroots level. Their widespread networks, expertise and creativity help share our vision with a huge group of people around the country. In 2015, our branches held over 630 events between them, involving over 1,000 scientists and reaching an audience of more than 43,000 people.

The branches and their chairs:

Heather Doran

Patrick Kieran

Edinburgh and South East Scotland
John Bradshaw

Moray and Highlands
Howie Firth

Tayside and Fife
Brian Kelly

Glasgow and West Scotland
Martin Hendry

South Wales
Mike Charitan

North Wales
Rachel Mason

Ruth Kelly

Christina Plant

Angela O'Sullivan

Harriet Allen

West Midlands
Anita Shervington

Liz Granger

Amelia Markey

North and East Yorkshire (Yorkshire Philosophical Society)
Stephen Lusty

North West
Lorelly Wilson

Louise Niven

South Yorkshire (Science Brainwaves)
Harriet Knafler

West Yorkshire
Michelle Akure

Bristol and Bath
Bob Foster

Rose Spear

Central London (Science London)
Holly Rogers

Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Maricar Jagger

Hampstead Scientific Society
Doug Daniels

Amanda Coutts

Jo Torres

Richmond Scientific Society (Affiliated branch)
David Williams

Thames Valley
Ceri Brenner

CREST Youth Panel

The CREST Youth Panel is made up of 36 inspirational young people aged 13-to-19 who are passionate about science. Through their biannual meetings, their voice and input ensures that our projects involving young people are kept relevant and fresh.

CREST Mentors

CREST Mentors are invaluable for the young people undertaking CREST projects and offer a source of practical advice, support and inspiration; in the past year we have had over 7,300 CREST Mentors.

CREST Teacher Advisory Network

The teachers who volunteer as part of our Teacher Advisory Network are an amazing resource, with their feedback and experience we are able to deliver an Award scheme that supports teachers and understands the education and STEM landscape in schools today.

Our People

Council 2015/16


General Committee

RT Hon the Lord David Willetts

Valerie Marshall

Vice Presidents
Professor Louise Archer (Education)
Matt Locke (Engagement)
Deborah Bull (Cultural Development)

Elected members
Dr Kerry Leslie (Affiliates)
Dr Tom Crick (Branches)
Professor Brian Ratcliffe (Affiliates)
Suzi Gage (Students)

Appointed members
Andy Richards
Dr Emily Dawson
Dr Steven Hill

The following sit on Council but are not trustees:

Professor Dame Athene Donald

Past President
Sir Paul Nurse

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

All Council members also sit on General Committee

Dr Fern Elsdon Baker
Dr David Shankland
Deborah Cohen

Victoria Kowalkowski
Dr Steve Cross
Brian Kelly
Rachel Mason
David Thompson

Dr Nigel Eady
Sarah Chick
Olivier Usher

Professor Lorna Dawson
Ben Johnson
Dr Emmanuelle Tulle

Jessica Leigh Jones


The British Science Association is proud to have a strong network of affiliates including universities, companies, research councils and other charities and organisations that share our vision and mission.

Biochemical Society

British Psychological Society

British Society for Immunology

British Sociological Association

Cardiff University

Centre for Life

City of Westminster College

Durham University

Edinburgh Napier University

Geological Society

Graphic Science

John Innes Centre

London Mathematical Society

National Museums Scotland

Natural History Museum

Nutrition Society

Our Dynamic Earth

Physiological Society


Royal Academy of Engineering

Society of Professional Engineers

The British Library

The James Hutton Institute

The Open University

The Society of Biology

University College London

University of Aberdeen

University of Abertay, Dundee

University of Bath

University of Birmingham

University of Brighton

University of Huddersfield

University of Leeds

University of Leicester

University of Portsmouth

University of Surrey

University of Westminster

University of York


The British Science Association would like to thank the following organisations, companies and trusts for their kind support in 2015:



Chapel Street Studios

Charles Brotherton Trust

Department for Business,
Innovation & Skills

EDF Energy


Gatsby Foundation



Institute of Physics

International Year of Light

James Beattie Charitable Trust

James Weir Foundation

Lord Austin Trust

MP Futures

Research Councils UK

Royal Academy of Engineering

Royal Society of Chemistry

Rubery Owen Charitable Trust

Science Foundation Ireland



The Arts Council

The Scottish Government

University of Bradford

University of Nottingham

University of Sheffield


Wellcome Trust

Welsh Government

Worshipful Company of Horner’s


We would also like to thank the following individuals for their continued support of our vision, mission and programmes:

Eric Albone

Sir Walter Bodmer

Roy Partington

Bryan Rigby

Dennis Young

Dr Susan Allen

John Bradshaw

British Science Association,
Wellcome Wolfson Building,
165 Queen's Gate, London SW7 5HD

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