News Details
23 September 2008

New science promoter creates Arcs and Sparks

The University of Aberdeen has made a key appointment as part of its ongoing drive to engage the public in its diverse and world leading research.

Award winning science communicator Ken Skeldon has joined the institution at a time when it is fast expanding its public outreach programmes.

In the last fortnight more than a dozen scientists and researchers have played a major role in Aberdeen's popular festival of science, technology, engineering and maths – TechFest in September.

In the last week alone around 350 people came to the University for a public lecture about a potential new treatment for Alzheimer's disease, while almost 140 schoolchildren enjoyed science practicals in one of the institution's labs.

Recently more than 500 toured the University's Institute of Medical Sciences and the Zoology Museum and Natural History Centre for Doors Open Day.

Dr Skeldon, who graduated with a degree in maths and physics from the University of Glasgow before conducting research in technology applications within the NHS, will build on the University of Aberdeen's public awareness raising.

He will also be involved in helping guide many of the University's researchers over the best ways of communicating their science to wider communities.

Dr Skeldon said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the University of Aberdeen at such a dynamic time. The commitment of the University to support this area at a strategic level is far-sighted, and demonstrates a leading role within the University sector towards science and society".

Dr Skeldon continued: "I'm excited by my new role at the University of Aberdeen, being a strong believer that people working at the research front are those best placed to engage the public and inspire the next generation of scientists."

Over the years Dr Skeldon has been involved in many research and engagement initiatives, having held Fellowships from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institute of Physics and the National Endowment of Science, Technology and Arts. Through partnerships and freelance work he has reached audiences of over 100,000 personally across the UK and beyond, and many more via exhibition and media channels.

Dr Skeldon added: "I and my colleagues are looking forward to developing the University's strategy, working with partners across the city and beyond, to deliver an exciting and diverse mix of science related events that reflect the dynamic teaching, research and innovation that goes on here day after day."  

And the public got the chance to see Dr Skeldon in action when he brought TechFest to a spectacular close on Monday afternoon.

Dr Skeldon's show Arcs and Sparks was a visual extravaganza about electricity.

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