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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I001395/1
Title: Scientific Art - Reflecting on a Science City: a proposal for a Partnership in Public Engagement in the West Midlands Region.
Principal Investigator: Thomas, Professor PA
Other Investigators:
Wilson, Dr NR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Birmingham City Council Birmingham Science City
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Partnerships- Public Engage
Starts: 13 August 2010 Ends: 12 August 2011 Value (£): 19,979
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Materials Characterisation
Medical science & disease
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 May 2010 PPE Starter Grants Call 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to implement and extend a Scientific Art competition to spark a meaningful and targeted public engagement process. The science and ethos underlying this bid is defined by the 'Birmingham Science City' (BSC) project, which was initiated by our current Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP when he designated 6 Science Cities in 2005. As a result, the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), was in receipt of a large grant, which it chose to invest (since 2007) in the capital research infrastructure of the region within the two Russell-group research-intensive universities, Birmingham (UB) and Warwick (UW). The big-picture is the ambition to make the West Midlands region a major hub for science, technology and innovation on the world-stage with the cultural, educational and economic benefits to the people of the region that will follow. By combining AWM's funding with investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), it has been possible to invest across three major Themes: Advanced Materials (20M), Energy Futures (17M) and Translational Medicine (20M) in UB/UW. The PI is the Research Director of these projects for the two universities. Crucially, the appreciation by the public of the importance of Science in our every-day lives, is a major outcome of the wider BSC programme, which has the motto Ideas for Life . Public engagement activity is a key element of the overall Science City package; hence the willingness of BSC to partner with us in this proposal.The scientific research encapsulated by the three Themes is some of the most visually inspiring of all science. The 80 or so researchers who work directly within the Science City projects on these themes at UW and UB will be contacted and asked to submit entries to the SciArt competition. The scope of the call will cover photographs, graphical depictions of results of simulations or experiments, micrographs or even pages from notebooks. The criterion by which SciArt entries will be judged is: the images must be visually striking with artistic merit independent of their scientific interest, however the story behind the picture , the technical expertise and scientific merit will also be taken into consideration. shortlisted entries by Nick Barker and Ally Caldecote.The six winning images, produced as professional posters, will be exhibited , as part of the British Festival of Science, which is to be hosted in Birmingham in September 2010. Science City Research Fellows will contribute their time to staff the exhibition, explaining the science behind the images, and the impact of that science, to the members of the public who attend it. A composite poster will be constructed from the six images by a graphic designer and this will be mailed to 500 schools for Year 6 with an example lesson plan suggesting how it could be integrated into their regular classroom activities. We expect responses in the form of prose, poems, pictures, photographs, and possibly even experiments of their own .These responses will be judged in the SciArt schools competition with a prize ceremony hosted in prominent venue, to be decided in consultation with partner Birmingham City Council, in December. Most importantly, Teaching Fellows based in Chemistry and Physics will proactively engage with schools in Delivering the Science behind the images through their regular visits to school classes at all stages of the education process, and across the full range of socio-economic backgrounds and through working on curriculum-based material to be delivered both on-site and more widely via the web. Visits to UB/UW to experience experiments connected to the images will be hosted as a follow-up. The final output will be a calendar for 2011 featuring the 6 winning images and 6 winning school responses - the aim is to distribute this at no charge to participating schools and to sell it at a commercial rate to other interested parties.
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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk