British Council seminar (0523) Common language: communicating science to everyone

Venue: Edinburgh

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Apr 03, 2005 End Date/Time: Apr 08, 2005
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“Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute”. JG Ballard

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone”. Albert Einstein

If they’re both right – and they are – what’s gone wrong? If science’s key ideas are so simple, useful and easy to express, why is it a language which few young people choose to learn, and even fewer of all ages speak fluently? Although it continually reshapes our lives, many find science and its consequences increasingly incomprehensible. What can be done to inspire, enthuse and involve children and adults so they feel ready to participate in the conversation, not mouthing second-hand opinions from the media and elsewhere, but speaking their own minds?

Linked to the Edinburgh International Science Festival, this seminar will demonstrate ways to strengthen the essential connections between science and the public; from nurturing the next generation of scientists, to developing greater mutual understanding between scientists and journalists.

Over four days leading scientists, journalists and science communicators will participate in discussions, workshops and exercises offering practical ways to correct such breakdowns of communication which erode public interest, undermine scientific credibility, and threaten future research.

Event Director Quentin Cooper was recently described as “the world’s most enthusiastic man…an expert on everything from pop music to astrophysics” (The London Times)
He currently presents British radio’s most widely listened to science programme, The Material World, along with a range of other science and technology programmes for radio and TV. Contributors include John Brown Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Dorothy McMurrich, Director SCI FUN, Toby Murcott, Journalist and broadcaster, Simon Singh, Writer and Richard Wiseman, Professor of Psychology.

Tying in with this event there will be a special edition of The Material World from the Edinburgh International Science Festival which participants will be able to attend.


Additional Information

For further details please contact Julia Winborn at Tel: 01865 302713 Fax: 01865 516590 or see for a draft programme and fee information.